Informed Communities: Infant Mortality

WKSU is committed to serving the community's information needs.

Several foundations joined together last fall to invite local media to pursue collaborative projects that could meet the basic information needs of often underserved communities. 

In their call for ideas, the foundations (Cleveland Foundation, Akron Community Foundation, Knight Foundation and The Center for Community Solutions) expressed an interest in "projects that provide actionable information that people need and can use."

WKSU was awarded a grant to work with The Plain Dealer and Spectrum News1 Ohio to produce content around the topic of infant mortality. Infant mortality rates in Cleveland and Akron have been unusually high and both communities have initiated efforts to address this. The media organizations are working with First Year Cleveland, Birthing Beautiful Communities and Project Ujima, a partner organization in Akron's Full Term First Birthday strategic plan. Our goal is to identify the information needs and create effective media on the best platform to reach communities who can most use this information. 

Ohio Infant Mortality Continues to Decline, Gains by Race Remain Uneven

Feb 26, 2020
A photo of an infant's foot

Ohio’s infant mortality rate continued its slow but steady decline in 2018, driven largely by falling death rates for white babies. The rate of infant death in Ohio’s black community, however, remains stubbornly high.

In Ohio, 938 infants died before reaching a first birthday in 2018, down from 982 the year before. The state’s rate of infant death, calculated by the number of deaths among live-born babies per 1,000 births, was 6.9 in 2018. The rate has fallen by a little more than 1 percent a year for the past decade.