Reducing Racial Disparities
addressing Extreme Prematurity
Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths
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.
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 activities, CenteringPregnancy 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.
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 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:
To learn more about our goals and plans for First Year Cleveland, download a full copy of our strategic plan and our mobilization efforts.
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