Bernadette Kerrigan Discusses Effort to Reduce Region's Infant Mortality Rate

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The infant mortality rate counts the number of babies who die before age one, per 1000 live births. Ohio's rate is high compared to national numbers, Cuyahoga's is higher still and Cleveland's is frighteningly high. 

In 2015 the city and county  launched a cooperative  called First Year Cleveland that brought together nonprofits, medical professionals and other stakeholders to help babies thrive and bring those alarming rates down. The group was formed during a most distressing time:  Cleveland's infant mortality rate jumped from 10.4 in 2014 to 15.9 in 2015. A huge increase. Mortality rates correspondingly were higher throughout Cuyahoga County, which has the second highest infant mortality rate in the state behind Mahoning Co.  The First Year organization now has an Executive Director--Bernadette Kerrigan.  She joined us to talk about the challenges ahead.


Bernadette Kerrigan, Executive Director, First Year Cleveland

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