Infant Mortality

For more information on safety for your baby, please check out the links below: 

Safe Sleep for Babies 
Choose Your Partner Carefully 
Safe Haven for Newborns 
Protecting Our Future 
Cuyahoga County suffers from a disproportionately high infant mortality rate, one that County Executive Budish has declared cannot stand.  Pledging to work together, Budish joined Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley and area government agencies, healthcare providers, educational institutions, community and faith-based organizations, corporate and philanthropic leaders to form First Year Cleveland (FYC)- a public/private collaborative aimed to mobilize our community through partnerships and a unified strategy to reduce infant deaths, particularly among our African American babies. 

Choosing to no longer stand by after four decades of high infant mortality rates, County Executive Budish and Council President Kelley brought together grieving parents and their families, front line infant care givers, health systems, faith based leaders, nonprofit providers, philanthropist and civic leaders to launch a comprehensive, county wide effort.   

FYC is getting to the bottom of these disturbing trends and making lasting change based on the premise that all newborns will live to celebrate their first birthday.  FYC released its inaugural strategic plan on June 29, 2017 that outlines the direction we will be taking, together, to stop our babies from dying.  It includes three priority areas and five areas of measurable action for 2017-2020.

  • Reduce Racial Disparities
  • Address Extreme Prematurity
  • Eliminate Sleep-related Infant Deaths

Areas of Measurable Action

  • Establish Shared Measurement
  • Support Coordinated Activities
  • Build Public Will
  • Advance Public Policy
  • Secure Funding

Cuyahoga County and the City have committed an initial $2 million to launch this important work.  In partnership with Mount Sinai Healthcare Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, Sisters of Charity Foundation and local hospitals,  FYC  has  successfully secured an additional $4.9 Million from Ohio Department of Medicaid to expand community programs working to address infant mortality: Home Visiting, CenteringPregnancy, Fatherhood Initiative, Nurse Family Partnership and Faith-based Health Ambassador Program.

FYC will be launching a website in late Fall 2017 to keep the community informed on  progress and how individuals or organizations can get involved.

For more information on FYC  and how to get involved, please contact Bernadette Kerrigan, Executive Director, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine at or call  216-368-6870.