Infant Mortality Task Force

The infant mortality rate in Columbus is deplorable. A baby living in Columbus’ South Linden neighborhood has the worst chance of reaching his or her first birthday compared with a baby from any other neighborhood in Columbus. The Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force will present some preliminary findings at the CMC forum on Wednesday, June 11. Featured speakers are Sharon Davies, executive director, Kirwan Institute, OSU; Teresa Long, Columbus Health Commissioner; Arthur James, pediatric expert, Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The discussion will be hosted by Andy Ginther, president, Columbus City Council.

The goal of the taskforce is to reduce Columbus’ infant mortality rate (IMR) by nearly 40 percent and cut the racial disparity gap. The top three causes of infant death are preterm birth and low birth weight births, birth defects and sudden infant death syndrome. Diverse populations within Columbus experience different rates of IMR but overall, poor, non-white families are more likely to face the trauma of infant mortality.
Dr. Teresa Long explained that “Infant mortality rates are a globally acceptable measure of a community’s wellbeing.” Community leaders are confident that a plan to support pregnant women and families can improve this startling measurement

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established in 2003 as a center for interdisciplinary research at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have opportunity to succeed.