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 Solutions FYC Awarded $4.8 Million from ODM

First Year Cleveland Awarded $4.8 Million
to Combat Infant Mortality throughout Cuyahoga County 

Ohio Department of Medicaid Funding Supports Proven Strategic Programs

First Year Cleveland (FYC), a public-private collaborative created to reduce infant deaths in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, particularly among African American babies, has been awarded additional funding of $4.8 million over two years (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021) by the Ohio Department of Medicaid and Ohio’s Managed Care Plans. The award will support continued efforts to improve birth outcomes and reduce racial disparities.

“As a nurse, I know investments in clinical care and community-based services are critical to reduce infant mortality and its racial disparity,” said Maureen Corcoran, Ohio’s Medicaid Director. “The Ohio Department of Medicaid and its managed care plan partners are committed to funding collaborative local efforts in areas with the greatest racial disparities in infant outcomes; ensuring that African American babies have the same chance to thrive in their first year of life as all other infants.”

Funding will be dedicated to targeting and reducing the disparity in Cuyahoga County's African American infant mortality rate. This award is in addition to $4.9 million awarded in 2016-2017 and $4.8 million in 2018 which was invested in highly effective local programs serving parents and expectant parents.

“First Year Cleveland salutes Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Medicaid and Ohio’s Managed Care Plans for their leadership in preventing our babies from dying before their first birthdays. Their investment of $4.8 million in nine programs will provide even more African American expectant parents with high quality, evidence-based CenteringPregnancy®, Home Visiting and birth doula programs. Expectant parents enrolled in these programs are experiencing healthier full-term births,” said Bernadette Kerrigan, First Year Cleveland’s Executive Director.

Partner organizations providing these programs and receiving additional funding include Care Alliance Health Center, Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, University Hospitals, Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood MomsFirst, and Birthing Beautiful Communities.

For decades, Cuyahoga County’s Infant Mortality Rates (IMR) have been much higher than the national average. Several evidence-based programs like Home Visiting for at-risk expectant moms, doula services and CenteringPregnancy® (group prenatal care) have proven to be effective. However, in Cuyahoga County there is still a large disparity between the infant mortality rates of African American babies compared to white babies, with black babies dying at a rate that’s more than three times as high as that of white infants. This unacceptable racial inequity is an urgent focus of First Year Cleveland. All of the funding received will focus on this challenge:

  • $1,963,800 for Cuyahoga CenteringPregnancy® Coalition – An evidence-based group prenatal care intervention that has been proven to reduce preterm births. National data shows that African American expectant parents served through a Centering Program have a 41 percent reduction in premature births. By the end of 2019, the FYC Centering Coalition, representing seven health care entities, is projected to be the third largest Centering Coalition in the United States.

  • $720,798 for Doula Services — Community members trained in childbirth who provide emotional, physical and educational support to mothers from the prenatal stage to post-delivery. Research shows that doulas positively affect birth outcomes, with less use of pain relief medications, fewer cesarean births and a 25 percent decrease in the length of labor. Women also reported having a more positive childbirth experience.
  • $2,115,402 for Home Visiting Programs – Holistic programs providing services to expectant moms and dads, focusing on childbirth and parenting, education, employment, safe sleep, stress relief, breastfeeding, healthy eating, co-parenting, labor and delivery services and more, including two tobacco cessation programs. Smoking by expectant moms, dads or members of their household(s) is a risk factor for preterm birth and preventable sleep-related infant death.

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