In Lucas County, nearly one in ten babies is born weighing less than 5.5 pounds, which is considered low birth weight. Studies show that low birth weight children have an increased risk for serious health difficulties.
Lucas County also has the highest infant mortality rate in the state. The leading cause of infant mortality in Ohio are birth defects and babies born too early and too little. Pre-term and low birth weight babies are the most preventable. It is a matter of ensuring that pregnant women take care of themselves, have support structures and access pre-natal care.
Because there are a number of organizations addressing this outcome, Aspire is not yet active in this space. To learn more about activities supporting this outcome, visit The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio and Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes.
In late June 2016, the Hospital Council announced that it will be receiving $3.23 million over two years from the Ohio Department of Medicaid to provide more resources to at-risk mothers to help combat infant mortality. See the Toledo Blade article for more information.