Ohio Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes

Ohio Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes

About the Ohio Equity Institute

The Ohio Department of Health and CityMatCH are partnering with nine Ohio communities to improve overall birth outcomes and reduce the racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality. Ohio ranks near the bottom of U.S. states in overall infant mortality rates and especially Black infant mortality. CityMatCH is a national organization that supports urban maternal and child health efforts at the local level. It is their mission to "strengthen public health leaders and organizations to promote equity and improve the health of urban women, families and communities." Ohio is utilizing the model provided by the national Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes to build a similar program in our state.

The Ohio Equity Institute is an initiative designed by CityMatCH to strengthen the scientific focus and evidence base for realizing equity in birth outcomes. The Institute is a data-driven, high-visibility movement by nine urban Ohio communities. Over the next three years, these communities will participate and receive training to support them as they select, implement, and evaluate equity-focused projects. This effort marks the first time that CityMatCH will work in so many cities in a single state at the same time. The hope is for Ohio to become a template for other states also wishing to make measureable reductions in birth outcome inequities.

Ohio Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes Value Propositions

1. Clear Compelling Data to Garner Support and Drive Practice

CityMatCH is a data-centric organization and believes data should drive public health practice. CityMatCH staff is partnering with Ohio data experts to develop a brief that will highlight local data across all 9 participating communities in the Ohio Equity Institute.

2. Maternal and Child Health Systems Review, Improvements and Additions

CityMatCH will assist each participating community in a review of their current MCH systems. This top-to-bottom review will be aimed at improving and augmenting capacity to make our shared goal of measurable reductions in birth outcome inequities possible in every participating community. CityMatCH will provide this assistance directly or through national experts.

3. "Downstream" Project Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation Support

Once MCH systems are fine-tuned, CityMatCH will provide a data-driven review of available strategies for reducing birth outcome inequities. CityMatCH staff has subdivided these strategies into two tiers based on the evidence of effectiveness. Detailed calculations regarding poor outcomes averted and cost savings will be provided for each strategy. Technical assistance will help each community create a logic model, implementation plan, and evaluation protocols. CityMatCH has retained the University of Kansas’ Work Group for Community Health and Development—creators of the Community Toolbox—to provide expert evaluation support.

4. "Upstream" Project Planning and Implementation Support

Birth outcome inequities exist due to unfair differences in the social determinants of health. Until we see equity in housing, education, economics, These "upstream" issues tend to take longer, require broader coalitions, and have impacts that are difficult to quantify. Yet, they remain the ultimate solution. CityMatCH will assist each community in the planning and implementation of one major "upstream" initiative.

5. National Dissemination

CityMatCH plans to work with each community to create "Project Launch Reports". These reports will be published by CityMatCH as soon as each community is ready to implement their "downstream" project, and will highlight local data, detail the project itself, and outline the expected outcomes. These reports will then be disseminated nationally to our partners and handed out at conferences where CityMatCH is invited to speak. Additionally, at the close of the three -year initiative, we will host an Ohio Equity Summit that will feature the teams’ projects and outcomes along with other nationally known speakers. The national Maternal and Child Health community will be invited, and Ohio’s successes will be put on display.

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