In response to your July 30 editorial “Rankings in shame”: Lawmakers play a key role in helping to address the high rates of infant mortality in Ohio. However, it is equally important to ensure that the community is engaged on this issue.
There have been great strides in prenatal, newborn, and infant health care in Lucas County. Nevertheless, Lucas County’s Caucasian infant mortality rate of 4.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to a rate of 10.6 for African-American infants, shows that medical interventions are not enough.
In an effort to close this gap in infant mortality rates, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has joined the Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes and community partners, pediatricians, and hospital systems to participate in the Ohio Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes.
Lucas County was chosen by the institute as one of nine metropolitan areas in the state to participate in this initiative, because of the region’s large inequity in infant mortality rates. This three-year collaborative signals a commitment to a coordinated plan to reduce infant mortality and birth inequities across Lucas County and Ohio.
Along with closing gaps in current programs, the institute will call upon our community to address social and economic inequities that contribute to infant mortality. This will require a dialogue and the active participation of our residents to foster a healthier community for mothers and babies.
Project Coordinator Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes
Central Park West