Four Akron-based community groups will split $1.5 million in state funds to help combat infant mortality.
In the past, state officials divvied up the funds uniformly across the state’s health departments.
Sykes believes the targeted funding will improve care and generate community support.
“With this we will see ... more community partnership networking," Sykes said. "That way, the community is really empowered and we can take control over what happens to us. And we can tell the state and the federal government, ‘This is what we need.’”
Overall, Ohio ranks among the worst when it comes to infant mortality rates,with nearly seven deaths per one thousand births.