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.
This brief, produced as a five-year follow up to HPIO’s original SDOIM report, provides guidance to policymakers and other stakeholders on how to improve community conditions and achieve birth equity through: