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Summit County Ups Fight Against Infant Mortality

Ohio 10-year map of infant mortality
Ohio Department of Health
Infant mortality has declined in the last several years, but Health Equity Ambassador Tamiyka Raose says there's still work to be done.

Summit County is expanding its programs that prevent infant mortality with a nearly $2.5 million state grant. Summit County Public Health is working with 10 other organizations to provide support for new and expecting mothers.

Full Term First Birthday Greater Akron was started by Mayor Dan Horrigan two years ago to assist mothers by providing support groups, counseling, and economic and legal aid. The grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid will also expand aid for housing.

Although the overall infant mortality rate has declined, for African-Americans it’s three times the rate of white women. Akron’s Health Equity Ambassador Tamiyka Rose said their programs are targeted for at-risk mothers.

Rose said Zalika House, a home in downtown Akron, provides moms with extra support and guidance.

“It’s a place where I think women can go and talk with community health workers, obtain different support systems if they don’t feel as if they are welcome or don’t feel inclined to go to the hospital directly.”

Rose said any pregnant woman that contacts them will receive some form of support.