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Ohio Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative (OIMRI)



Although infant deaths have declined through the years, The infant mortality rate for African-American babies is more than twice the rate for white babies, 13.93 vs. 6.37 per 1,000 live births in 2012. 

Important determinants of racial/ethnic differences in infant mortality are low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VLBW). Black women in Ohio are more likely than white women to deliver a LBW infant. 

Eliminating racial disparities in infant mortality will require:


  • Strategies aimed at improving the quality of prenatal care, pre-conception and inter-conception health.

  • Identifying underlying medical conditions and understanding how social support and environmental factors, such as stress and race, contribute to poor birth outcomes.  

The OIMRI component of the Child and Family Health Services program at the Ohio Department of Health addresses the barriers (e.g., financial, geographic, cultural, infrastructural) African-American women and children experience, and improves their access to and utilization of health care and social services.

The OIMRI programs are funded to provide community-based outreach and care coordination services in targeted communities with high-risk, low-income, African-American, pregnant women and families. When a disparate health condition affects the general population, it affects low-income and people of color at a higher rate and more severely.

Community Care Coordination Model

The OIMRI component utilizes the community care coordination model to empower communities to eliminate disparities. The community care coordination model supports employing individuals from the community as trained advocates who empower pregnant women to access resources. These professional community health workers (CHWs) provide a cultural link to the community and to community resources through family-centered services. These services focus on achieving success in health, education and self-sufficiency. 

The Role of Community Health Workers 
  • Conduct case findings.

  • Makes home visits on a regular basis during pregnancy and through the baby’s second year of life.

  • Identify and reinforce risk reduction behaviors.

  • Provide appropriate education.

  • Identify and work with the client’s strengths.

  • Engage the client in incorporating life-changing behaviors.

  • Collaborate with other agencies in making appropriate referrals to assure positive pregnancy and infant health outcomes. 


How Does OIMRI Work?

The OIMRI community care coordination model includes five core components: 
  • Planning: Use data to target neighborhoods and identify needs.
  • Training: On-going training for CHWs.
  • Supervision: Nursing and/or physician consultation.  
  • Standardized care processes: Delineates expected outcomes base on needs.
  • Data collection and evaluation: Measures program outcomes. 
Where is OIMRI?

OIMRI programs exist in 14 counties in Ohio with high infant mortality rates. They are Allen, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Richland, Stark, Summit and Trumbull counties.  

Click HERE to view the OIMRI Cribs for Kids conference call video.

Mailing Address:
Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Child and Family Health Services
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH  43215

Telephone: (614) 466-5332
Fax: (614) 564-2443

Last Updated:   1/8/15