Task force attacking infant mortality in Franklin County

Columbus Dispatch

Neighborhoods with the highest infant-mortality rates also are neighborhoods where many residents face a list of other obstacles in life, said Sharon Davies, the executive director of OSU’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, which has analyzed data for the task force.

Vacant properties, higher crime rates, failing schools, unemployment, hunger and substandard homes are among those challenges.

But poverty and related social factors don’t explain all of the disparity when comparing blacks and whites, Long said. Even babies born to college-educated, high-income black moms are more likely to die in the first year than babies born to white moms in the same socioeconomic bracket, she said.

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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.