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September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Thursday, September 1, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Bobbie Celeste, PhD
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Senator Shannon Jones, Chair of the Senate Health Committee and Senator Charleta Tavares, the minority leader of the Committee are cosponsoring SB 332 to tackle Ohio’s dismally high rate of infant mortality—especially among African American babies. OPA supports their efforts of these two Senators and honored them with the OPA Public Service Awards during our 2016 Legislative Day. In 2014 our overall rate put us at 45th in the nation. In a shocking statistic, Ohio’s infant mortality rate for African American babies is 14.3 per 1000 compared to 5.3 for white babies. Psychologists can help with two specific risk factors by treating maternal depression and providing tobacco secession counseling for women of child-bearing age. Psychologists are also assisting in hospital programs where pregnant women who are addicted can seek treatment for themselves and their newborns.

Senate Bill 332 reflects four major themes to reduce Ohio’s infant mortality rate – improve the collection and sharing of data (in order to better understand and target interventions), build on proven interventions, improve coordination and cultural competence within the health care system and address the social determinants of health.  To learn more about the causes of infant mortality and recommendations from the Infant Mortality Commission see the full report.  http://cim.legislature.ohio.gov/Assets/Files/march-2016-final-report.pdf Senate Bill 332 can be found at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-332