Cleveland group receives grant to help reduce infant mortality rate

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 3:43 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - According to the organization First Year Cleveland (FYC), Black babies in Cuyahoga County are six times more likely to die before their first birthday, compared to white babies.

“The research shows that the toxic stress that exist in our community especially for Black women is really at the core of this,” said India Pierce Lee with First Year Cleveland.

The goal of the organization is to address the issues driving up the infant death rate in the Black community.

Recently, the group was awarded a $4.8 million Medicaid grant that will help their mission.

“Making sure that their is a substantial decrease in the number of those deaths,” said June Taylor with First Year Cleveland. “That is truly vital for our community.”

FYC will be giving the grant money to local organizations that provide support and resources to Black mothers.

“I think it’s a holistic approach, mental, behavioral health, support for lactation services as well as other health care services,” said Pierce Lee.

As for Taylor, she said as a Black woman and mother, she felt obligated to help others.

“I have an obligation to really also lend a shoulder, lend a hand and lend a heart to helping them not only get through that tragedy... and eliminate it from happening to others,” said Taylor.