Social Drivers of Infant Mortality

For many years, policymakers and community leaders across Ohio have worked to reduce high rates of infant mortality. Decisionmakers have explored this issue through multiple advisory committees, collaborative efforts, investments, legislation and other policy changes. For example, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 322 in 2017, which adopted recommendations from the Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality’s 2016 report and required the creation of the 2017 Social Drivers of Infant Mortality (SDOIM) report: A New Approach to Reduce Infant Mortality and Achieve Equity, which was completed by HPIO.

Infant mortality prevention efforts have largely focused on public health and healthcare interventions for pregnant women, such as safe sleep education and prenatal care access. While these efforts have likely contributed to the overall reduction in infant mortality, healthcare services alone are not enough to close gaps in birth outcomes in Ohio. Improvements in factors beyond access to care are needed to reinvigorate Ohio’s stalled progress on infant mortality reduction.

HPIO produced this brief, as well as several action guides, in 2023, as a five-year follow up to HPIO’s original SDOIM report. The work provides guidance to policymakers  and other stakeholders on how to improve community conditions and achieve birth equity through:

  • Twelve prioritized policy goals and a menu of specific recommendations
  • Steps for acting on the policy recommendations
  • An update on implementation progress on the 2017 SDOIM report recommendations, including opportunities to continue progress and overcome barriers in 2023 and beyond

Read brief

Action guides

Tools & resources

Click here for information about the SDOIM Advisory Group