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Brown Pushes for Reauthorization of Program to Reduce Infant Mortality

A photo of a baby
Infant mortality rate is the number of babies who died during the first year of life per 1,000 live births.

Senator Sherrod Brown is pushing for the reauthorization of a national program aimed at reducing infant mortality rates. The Healthy Start Program provides free and low cost medical care for mothers and their children.

Brown says the program also works to reduce racial disparities when it comes to infant mortality rates. African-American babies are three times more likely to die than white infants in Ohio.

"African-Americans will tell you that they don’t get the same attention when they show up in a hospital or a clinic as a white person that’s in a similar circumstance," Brown said. "Those days we like to think are behind us, but they aren’t."

The Healthy Start Program offers home visits and encourages mothers to ask questions they may be uncomfortable asking in a doctor’s office.

Ohio’s infant mortality rate is among the highest in the nation. Ohio has five healthy start programs, including one in Cleveland.

The Ohio Department of Health's latest report on infant mortality is below.