Cradle Cincinnati, an organization dedicated to addressing the crisis of infant mortality in Hamilton County, released Thursday a $25 million plan to reduce the infant mortality rate in Hamilton County.
Between 2013 and 2017, an average of 97 infants per year died before their first birthdays, a 15 percent decrease from the previous five years. Cradle Cincinnati's goal is to bring that number down to 68 by the year 2023.
The plan outlines three main goals for the year 2023:
- To reduce the number or premature births by 33 percent.
- To eliminate sleep-related infant deaths by unsafe sleeping practices.
- To expand knowledge on how to prevent fatal birth defects.
Over 450 people including healthcare providers and community members were involved in making the plan.
"We co-created this, we got together with members of the community who are affected by infant mortality or who are African American women and families," says Elizabeth Kelly, co-founder of Cradle Cincinnati, "We didn't make this plan up just ourselves. We listened to the community."
Cara Shelton is a mother who has experienced the pain caused by infant mortality firsthand and is involved with infant mortality. She has faith that the 5-year plan will be a success.
"I really am encouraged by Cradle Cincinnati's progress over the past 5 years, the 15 percent reduction in infant deaths," says Shelton. "I do love their approach of involving the entire community, the healthcare systems, the families together to figure out a solution to this crisis."