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Federal Grant Will Fuel Franklin County's Fight Against Infant Mortality

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The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will use a $615,900 federal grant to continue efforts to combat infant mortality in Franklin County. 

A press release from the Ohio Department of Health, which is administering nearly $7 million in federal grant money, says researchers at Nationwide Children’s will use the money to fund in-home visits for pregnant women and parents with young children considered at risk for poor health outcomes. 

They’ll also increase in-home visits to communities with high rates of teen pregnancy and families living in poverty. 

“Research shows that evidenced-based home visiting improves birth outcomes and can help reduce infant mortality,” sid Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes in a press release. “These home visits also help improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, and connect families with needed supports and resources in their communities.”

Infant mortality rates in Franklin County have declined slightly in recent years, although large racial disparities remain. According to officials with the CelebrateOneinitiative, black babies in Franklin County died before their first birthday at a rate of 13.8 deaths for every 1,000 black babies born. White infant mortality in Franklin County now stands at 5.8 per 1,000 babies.

In September, CeleberateOne launched a new effort called Healthy Beginnings At Home, which is aimed specifically at helping homeless pregnant women.