First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home About Us FYC Strategic Plan

FYC Strategic Plan

Every baby born in Cuyahoga County will celebrate a first birthday. That’s our vision at First Year Cleveland (FYC) and the focus of our work.


For more than five decades, Cuyahoga County has had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, which means many babies don’t reach age one. At FYC, we’re helping mobilize the community around this issue through key partnerships and a strategy to reduce infant deaths.

A three-year plan of action

Our three-year strategic planning process began in 2017 and will conclude in the summer of 2020. The plan includes specific action steps that our community can take to reduce infant deaths. Our community identified the major factors contributing to infant deaths, which led us to defining three key priority areas for our work.

Focusing on these priorities has helped us to gather meaningful data, align programs and coordinate systems to decrease infant deaths, particularly among African American babies, with urgency, accountability and sustainability.

In year two (2018-19), we sought outside funding to support our efforts, developed an integrated model of community leaders, hosted educational conferences and published results. We have also led efforts for Safe Sleep activitiesCenteringPregnancy and additional programming. 

FYC has had the opportunity to share our model at the national level at the Grantmakers in Health National Conference in 2018 and the March of Dimes National Conference. We continue to strive for sustainability and have been training others on how to replicate FYC's work around the country. We are working to scale up our program interventions, continuously monitor the data and make the public aware of the myriad ways of ensuring a healthy pregnancy and delivery, as well as ongoing support and the resources available to help raise a healthy baby.

The results to date have been considerable. They’ve motivated us to not only keep moving forward but to challenge ourselves to seek out even more effective and innovative methods of tackling this issue.

  • The county’s overall infant mortality rate has decreased from 10.51 in 2015 to 8.65 in 2018 and to 8.62 through 2019. Our 2020 year-end goal is a 6.0 IMR.
  • The African American to White infant mortality inequity rate has decreased from 6.7 in 2017 to 4.12 in 2018 and to 3.93 through 2019. Our 2020 year-end goal is 3.35.
  • The preterm birth rate decreased from 14.9% in 2015 to 11.95% in 2018 and 11.63% through 2019. Our 2020 year-end goal is less than 10%.
  • There were 27 sleep-related infant deaths in Cuyahoga County in 2015. This has decreased to 19 sleep-related deaths in 2018 and 17 in 2019. Our 2020 year-end goal is less than six.

Now in the final year of the plan, we are closing in our goals and planning for the future, as we launch First Year Cleveland's 2020-2023 Equity Strategic Planning Process. Our new strategic plan will be developed with equity at its core. Among other things, the plan will evaluate, through an equity lens, FYC’s mission, vision, priority areas and current Action Teams, and establish priorities for the next three years. 

Measuring results

Measuring results and coordinating data collection with our partners has helped FYC develop key metrics to advance our efforts. The data we collect and the results we garner from this data is allowing us to:

  • Establish shared measurement practices
  • Support coordinated activities
  • Build public will
  • Advance public policy
  • Secure funding

To learn more about our goals and plans for First Year Cleveland, download a full copy of our strategic plan and our mobilization efforts.

Download Strategic Plan PDF

Download Mobilization Strategy PDF

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