State grants bringing $1.3 million to area infant services

Robinson said the funding will allow them to add at least one employee to provide maternal health and support from a religious perspective. It will also fund parenting health services and referrals to partner agencies to combat child mortality and reduce disparities in health care, she said.

Robinson said the American Fitness Health & Wellness Institute applied for a “very competitive” grant in October, providing a huge body of information about its services.

exploreBlack children are dying at an alarming rate: How can their lives be saved?

Ten health care groups providing pregnancy and family services in the Dayton and Miami Valley area will receive $1.3 million of nearly $5 million in grant funding statewide.

Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health, in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Initiative, will fund 44 community and faith-based organizations as of January 1, 2022.

The largest grantee in the area is Baby 1st Network, which operates statewide. He will receive $250,000 in support from the Ohio Cooperative for the Prevention of Infant Mortality.

Dr. Stacey Scott, executive director of Baby First Network, said she and Dr. James Greenberg at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati have been working for the past two years to include members of the statewide community in their programs.

She said many people don’t realize how infant and maternal deaths affect their communities.

“We hope that by spreading educational awareness to community members they will also help us reduce deaths during pregnancy and lactation,” Scott said.

When she started Baby First Network 40 years ago, she said, she focused on the 10 Ohio counties with the highest infant mortality rates, but that the problem is everywhere. Now they want to reach every county in the state.

Scott said the First Baby Network focuses on black people who give birth, for whom there are known disparities in health and outcomes. But she said the organization is happy to expand its programs and recruit more participants from communities that are usually overlooked.

Babies born to black mothers in Montgomery County are twice as likely to die before their first birthdays as children of white mothers, according to the Ohio Health Policy Institute. The organization found this to be true regardless of wealth and education, due in part to disparities in clinical care, differences in health-related behaviors, and community conditions such as housing, transportation and employment.

Ohio’s child death rate before their first birthday was 6.9 per 1,000 in 2016, the same rate as the previous year, according to the governor’s office. Ohio’s goal, in line with national aspirations, is 6 or fewer infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

Kettering’s Brigid Track will receive $187,500 to develop and implement a prenatal empowerment program in Montgomery County. The organization serves newborns and mothers affected by addiction.

“As we continue our work to accompany families affected by substance use disorder, funding for this grant will support our efforts to reach mothers early in their pregnancy journey,” said Megan Zarnitz, Associate Director of Brigid Bath. “We have found that the earlier in her pregnancy we start working with a mother, the sooner we can connect her to social services and support that can make a huge difference to her, her baby, and her entire family. We can work with her to make a plan for what happens when she gives birth, where her baby will receive care, and remove a lot of The uncertainty that makes this special time of her life more stressful than it should be.”

The American Fitness Health & Wellness Institute will receive $98,642.38 to provide maternal and infant services to remove barriers to health care in Greene and Montgomery counties.

Dr. Janet Robinson, CEO, said the organization, which was founded in 1986, has operated out of old North Dayton since 2008 but has seen its client base expand significantly after the 2019 Memorial Day hurricanes.

“For the past two weeks, we’ve had more than 50 calls a day,” she said. “This will help hundreds of women and men in the community.”

Robinson said the funding will allow them to add at least one employee to provide maternal health and support from a religious perspective. It will also fund parenting health services and referrals to partner agencies to combat child mortality and reduce disparities in health care, she said.

Robinson said the American Fitness Health & Wellness Institute applied for a “very competitive” grant in October, providing a huge body of information about its services.

exploreTwo new initiatives in the Dayton area aim to save children’s lives

Other scholarship recipients operating in the Dayton area are:

Health Care Access Now, Cincinnati, will earn $1,90,113 to serve four counties, including Butler and Warren, by recruiting three new classes for the Community Health Worker Certification Program from Hispanic, Asian, and Indigenous communities.

The New Elizabeth Life Center will receive $187,500 for pregnancy and parenting services at the six women’s centers in Hamilton and Montgomery counties. Elizabeth’s New Life Center offers relationship counseling, and some prenatal services, with a focus on abortion discouragement.

Moms2B, a pregnancy program for low-income families established by Ohio State University in 2010, will receive $125,000 for statewide use. The money will go to Moms2B and Dads2B programs, providing statewide training on children’s health and good parenting skills. In late 2020, the program began enrolling parents in the Dayton area in late 2020. This initially meant joining Columbus sessions virtually, but in-person educational sessions were planned in Dayton.

Bon Secours Mercy Health will receive $115,134.46 to use in seven counties — including Butler, Champaign and Clark — to be used in conjunction with community partners to improve access to parenting education, antenatal and postnatal health services, and enhance financial stability.

Pathway to Hope in Hamilton will receive $105,693 to develop a Family Preparation, Resources, Empowerment, and Savings program in Butler County. Pathway to Hope offers pregnancy tests, some ultrasounds, parenting lessons, and “miscarriage recovery” counseling.

Dayton Children’s Hospital will receive $30,691 to expand lactation services in Montgomery County.

Gem City Diaper Bank will receive $18,750 to provide diapers and wipes to Montgomery County families.

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