On its first birthday, Cradle Cincinnati is announcing a major increase to its budget. The group which aims to reduce infant mortality is seeing its budget go from $250,000 to almost $1.3 million.
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune calls the change a good start.
"Now that's not where we need to be because this issue requires a broad, community-wide effort," says Portune. "It's going to take more from all of us and beyond the medical community but we will get there because success is the only word that we will accept."
The launch of the StartStong initiative is the pilot for what may become a national model to lower pre-mature birthrates.
StartStrong is a geographically focused initiative to redesign healthcare delivery and reduce preterm birth rates. The program launched Tuesday evening, March 11 at Avondale Southern Baptist Church and is open to the public.
Infant mortality rates for Hamilton County and Cincinnati decreased in 2013 but still remain higher than the national average.
Cradle Cincinnati released last year's numbers following a community summit Tuesday morning.
Hamilton County saw 95 babies die before their first birthday, for a rate of 8.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. Of those deaths, 53 were City of Cincinnati residents, giving the City a rate of 9.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.