WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) praised the $1.1 million Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center received through the Healthy Start Initiative. This funding will provide resources to help reduce the state’s overall infant mortality rate while addressing many of the social determinants of health that adversely affect the women and children of Ohio. The Cincinnati Healthy Start program has been successfully carrying out program requirements and making a difference in its community for more than 4.5 years. This renewed funding will enable each Ohio Healthy Start program to serve more than 700 program participants each year, including 300 pregnant women and 300 infants and children, along with 100 fathers and male partners to address social determinants of health, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes, improve quality of care, and continue to reduce the state’s overall infant mortality rate.
“We already know that Ohio suffers from alarmingly high infant mortality rates, especially among African American families,” said Brown. “But we also know that healthy pregnancies lead to healthy babies. These funds for Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will provide community based resources and supports that will help ensure healthier pregnancies, healthier mothers, and healthier babies.”
“I’m pleased to see that Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has been awarded this critical grant funding,” said Portman. “This program aims to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy, to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in women’s health and family wellness, and to ensure their practices are built to last. I support Ohio’s Healthy Start programs and know that they will help reduce infant mortality in the state’s most vulnerable populations.”
NOTE: In October of last year, Brown and Portman sent a letter to Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. in support of Ohio receiving this funding. In addition to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center receiving this funding, Five Rivers Health Centers in Dayton received $1.1 million, the City of Cleveland received $950,000, the City of Columbus received $1.1 million, and Lucas County received $1.1 million— totaling over $5 million to fund Healthy Start Programs across Ohio.