Welcome to the Web site of the .
The Collaborative formed in 2010 as the successor to the Ohio Infant Mortality Task Force. The Task Force issued a report in late 2009 which provided a detailed update on infant mortality, outlined current prevention efforts, and provided ten recommendations together with rationale and strategies to address Ohio’s lack of progress in reducing infant mortality and birth-outcome disparities. These recommendations provide the starting point for the collaborative.
The Executive/Steering Committee guides and oversees the activities of the collaborative and represents the Collaborative to the public. The co-chairs of this oversight committee are Lisa Holloway of the March of Dimes Ohio Chapter and Dr. Arthur James of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
More About the Collaborative
The executive/steering committee meets regularly by conference call and in person. The entire collaborative meets quarterly in Columbus. Membership consists of individuals representing a wide range of organizations including government, public health, education, medicine, business, insurance and advocacy groups. Coordination is provided by the Ohio Department of Health.
If you would like to contact someone on the collaborative representing one of these organizations, click here.
Ohio, like other states and the nation as a whole, experiences significant disparities in birth outcomes between whites and African Americans, as shown by the chart below with data from Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics. Addressing this challenge is a high priority for the collaborative.
For fact sheets with more information about the collaborative and infant mortality, including what you can do to have a positive impact on your community, click on the resources tab on the top of the page.
Thank you for your interest in preventing infant mortality and disparities. Please watch this site for future developments of the Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality. To communicate with the Collaborative, click here.
Infant Mortality 101
Infant Mortality Defined
Infant mortality is measured by taking the number of live-born babies per thousand who die before their first birthday, producing a number called the infant mortality rate. But infant mortality is much more than a number. It is a personal and family tragedy that profoundly affects all those involved. Infant mortality is a public health crisis both locally and nationally, and we must address it.
Why Babies Die
The main medical reasons for babies dying are premature/low birth weight, congenital anomalies (birth defects), and sleep-related deaths. Babies also die of neglect, injuries, and disease. Poor physical/mental health, obesity, tobacco/alcohol/drug use, having pregnancies too close together, and limited breastfeeding among women of reproductive age also contribute significantly to the problem.
How We Compare
Through infant mortality, we can gauge trends in children’s and women’s health and determine the quality and availability of medical care, the effectiveness of public health practices and the overall economic, environmental and social conditions of a community.
In spite of medical expenditures which per capita exceed that of most nations, the United States is at the bottom of the 28 most-developed nations in terms of infant mortality. The U.S. infant mortality rate of 6.05 is higher than Canada (4.99), England (4.69), Germany (3.95) and France (3.95).
Ohio’s overall rate (2012) is 7.57, representing 1,047 deaths. The rate for whites is 6.37, and the rate for African Americans is 13.93, more than double the white rate. In fact, Ohio ranks 50th in the U.S. in African-American infant mortality, meaning that African-American babies in Ohio are more likely to die before reaching their first birthday than their counterparts in any other state. The differences in health statistics between whites and African Americans are generally referred to as disparities.
As part of a comprehensive plan called Healthy People 2020, the U.S. (and Ohio) has established the objective of achieving an infant mortality rate of 6.0 by the year 2020.
What Ohio is doing to Reduce Infant Mortality
Decreasing infant mortality is one of the top health priorities of the Ohio Department of Health and of Gov. John R. Kasich’s administration. And this priority is shared by local and community partners throughout Ohio. This shared commitment to saving babies’ lives is making an impact – we are beginning to see a reduction in Ohio’s infant mortality rate. Communities and organizations all over Ohio are energizing and mobilizing to promote safe sleep for babies, breastfeeding, and smoking/alcohol/drug cessation and prevention for mothers. Hospitals are aggressively addressing infant mortality issues. Ohio legislators are championing bills designed to support infant mortality reduction efforts. Medicaid expansion will complement these efforts as Medicaid-eligible women gain access to health coverage and better access to healthcare services. Payments to healthcare providers that reward better outcomes like healthier women/mothers-to-be are having a positive impact, too. Increased media visibility is helping raise the general public’s awareness about infant mortality.
It’s up to you and all Ohioans to prevent infant mortality. Will you accept the challenge?
Membership is open to agencies, organizations, groups and individuals that have a commitment to the prevention of infant mortality and related disparities and/or advocacy related to these issues. The agency, organization, group or individual must be in agreement with the Mission Statement and Purpose of the Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality.
Click the link below to view the Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality member organizations.