Rep. Sykes: Summit County Awarded State Grant To Combat Infant Mortality
Akron non-profit to implement evidence-based model to reduce early infant deaths

Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) recently announced the approval of $105,000 in state funds to be released to the Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. for the creation of the Infant Mortality Pathways Hub Model Demonstration Replication Grant Program in Summit County.

First implemented in Mansfield, Ohio, the Infant Mortality Pathways Hub Model Demonstration Grant Program is an evidence-based model with proven efficacy with racial and ethnic populations. The Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. will be required to replicate the program and implement clinical measures that align with Healthy People 2020 for chronic diseases and conditions, obtain Hub Model Certification and implement a continuous quality improvement program to monitor the achievement of targeted grant goals.

“Ultimately, infant mortality is a community issue that requires community solutions,” said Sykes. “With infant mortality rates higher than the national average for over a decade and rates for black babies twice that for white babies, our approach needs to change. This grant funding will allow us to work on improving the quality of life of those in the Akron community who are more likely to be affected by high infant mortality rates.”

Launched in 2010, the Healthy People 2020 objectives include reducing the rate of all infant deaths and reducing preterm births by ten percent. As a grant recipient, Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. must work to achieve these established goals along with efforts to increase early and adequate access to prenatal healthcare, timely post partum visits, increasing safe sleep practices, access to behavioral health services and the provision of other services that decrease social determinants of health risk factors that impact birth outcomes.

The Akron zip codes 44320 and 44307 are among the highest infant mortality rates in Ohio and will continue to be a focus and priority for the state.

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