Children's health
4:41 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Collaborative aims to reduce infant mortality rates

Leaders gather to sign a collaborative agreement creating the Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Area health agencies and hospitals are joining county and city leaders to launch a collaborative tasked with reducing the rate at which babies die before their first birthdays.

At a launch celebration Thursday at the Freedom Center, Dr. Jim Greenberg of Children's Hospital said premature birth is one of the largest problems.

"We have higher pre-term birthday rates  than the national average, especially within the City of Cincinnati,"  he said. "We also have higher death rates from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and we also have slightly higher death rates from congenital malformations as well."

The Cincinnati region's infant mortality rate ranks well above the national average. In some populations, the rate is three times the national average. The collaborative aims to move those numbers below the average within five years.

Greenberg says medical costs for preemies are more than ten times more expensive than a full-term infant.

"Last year our community spent approximately $66 million on premature baby care," he said.

Greenberg says everyone shoulders those costs through private insurance premiums and Medicaid. 

Participants:

  • Hamilton County
  • City of Cincinnati
  • Hamilton County Public Heath
  • The Christ Hospital
  • UC Health
  • TriHealth
  • Mercy Health
  • the UC College of Nursing
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • The Center for Closing the Health Gap

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