Infant mortality, or death of an infant before his or her first birthday, is of increasing concern in Ohio and across the United States. In 2016, 1,024 Ohio babies died before their first birthdays. Ohio mothers age 15-17 were twice as likely to lose their baby compared to mothers age 30 to 34.
Addressing maternal risks factors known to contribute to infant mortality in Ohio is an increasing priority. In addition, supporting adolescent girls through positive youth development (PYD) programming is a long-term strategy for preventing infant mortality, as young people take steps early on to improve their own health and well-being.
Guided by research and informed by state-level data, The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) partnered with local Ohio Equity Institute (OEI) entities to host and facilitate nine community forums aimed at addressing and reducing risks for infant mortality and improving access to PYD activities for adolescent girls. Community forums were hosted in the Spring of 2018, and occurred in the nine counties with the highest infant mortality rate in Ohio.
At each of the nine forums, a diverse group of stakeholders examined local data, assessed local capacity, and designed programs and policies to reduce infant mortality and related inequities. Specifically, stakeholders examined the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) present in their communities related to adolescent girls ages 10 to 14. At the end of each forum, specific priorities related to preventing infant mortality were identified. This state level report synthesizes the findings across the nine counties, and provides an overview of key priorities and needs to inform the state-wide agenda.
Local Reports (SFY18)