State Commission aims to lower Ohio’s high infant mortality rate


Staff report



COLUMBUS — State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) recently announced that state leaders have joined health advocates to begin a new phase in the fight to reduce the state’s high infant mortality rate. The Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality met today to hear testimony and establish a timeline for developing recommendations to improve the state’s coordinated efforts to prevent infant deaths.

“Solving Ohio’s infant mortality problem is vital to our future, and we will continue to do all we can to allow families to celebrate more first birthdays,” said Beagle. “As chairman of the Ohio Fatherhood Commission, I am working alongside community organizations to reach fathers that need help learning their roles in their children’s lives and help to enable fathers to contribute meaningfully to the health and well-being of their sons and daughters.”

Senator Beagle joined colleagues last year to co-sponsor Senate Bill 276, which established the Commission on Infant Mortality and directs the Commission to prepare a written report of its findings and recommendations for the Governor and General Assembly.

The Commission will meet regularly to take inventory of state programs and funding streams available to address the crisis of infant deaths in Ohio, which ranks 46th in the nation for overall infant mortality and 50th among black babies.

The Commission is made up of various representatives from state agencies, Ohio hospitals, community-based programs. Legislative members of the Commission include Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and Representative Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard).

Parents and parents-to-be can find more resources and information on preventing infant mortality on the Ohio Department of Health website at www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms.

Staff report