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Butler County Receives $1.3M Grant to Fight Infant Mortality

The number of African-American babies in Butler County who never made it to their first birthday was nearly three times that of Caucasian babies last year.

“Recent Ohio Department of Health data indicates our state’s overall infant mortality rate has decreased, but the rate for African American infant mortality continues to rise,” said Maureen Corcoran, director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid. “Ohio Medicaid is the state’s largest insurer for pregnancy and postpartum care, and we know it is our moral duty to collaborate with local stakeholders to close the racial disparity gap. With the issuance of these grants, Medicaid and its managed care plan partners demonstrate our commitment to make this happen.”

Systemic change can only occur if Butler County implements a coordinated community approach to reduce racial disparities in infant mortality rates. Butler County Educational Service Center has been awarded the grant and will coordinate efforts for the community-wide coalition, which includes the most experienced, dedicated and appropriately-equipped community partners, to find and implement the necessary solutions. These eight organizations will work together to unify outreach and referral processes, share data, monitor progress and improve quality, and ensure attitudes and practices of racial bias are eliminated at the organizational and individual level through training.

Together the group will focus on three evidence-based intervention models to improve birth outcomes and lower infant mortality rates in our region:

Centering Pregnancy: Routine prenatal care will be replaced with risk assessment, education, and support in a group setting, which has proven more desirable and effective for pregnant mothers.

Community Health Workers: Trials show substantial reductions in child mortality through culturally-appropriate, family-centered services to expectant mothers. This creates a strong support system for pregnant women and families so they are knowledgeable about their rights and the resources in their communities.

Home Visiting, Nurse Family Partnership: Consistent home visits and increased awareness of the importance of smoking cessation, breastfeeding, reproductive plans, birth spacing, postpartum visits, and safe sleep result in better outcomes for high-risk families during the program.

The following projects will be funded through fiscal agent Butler County ESC over the next two years:

-Butler County Educational Service Center will be funded to provide a coordinator for the project, one community health worker focused in Fairfield to provide Purple Tabletop Groups, and half of one central intake worker. Total funding: $355,146

-Atrium will be funded to provide researched based intervention of Centering Pregnancy and a community health worker. Total funding: $124,096

-Butler County Health District will be funded for two community health workers focused in Hamilton and Butler County and provide Purple Tabletop Groups. Total funding: $225,151

-Butler County Family & Children First Council will be funded to provide four training events for community health workers and the medical community. Total funding: $40,000

-Community Building Institute, Inc. will be funded to provide two community health workers focused on Middletown and Purple Tabletop Groups. Total funding: $187,409

-Centerpoint Health will be funded to provide a part-time community health worker to support the Centering Pregnancy Program. Total funding: $33,779

-Help Me Grow – Brighter Futures will be funded to provide two part-time nurses to implement the Nurse Family Partnership home visiting model. Total funding: $170,000

-Sojourner Recovery Services will be funded to provide one community health worker focused on Hamilton Purple Tabletop Groups. Total funding: $78,368