News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Levin Furniture

Meaden & Moore


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine


Canton tries to figure out the role of racism in infant deaths
The city and Ohio launch a three-year effort to study why Ohio's infant mortality rate is among the worst in the nation
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Canton Health Commissioner Jim Adams says the study of infant mortality will range from institutional racism to person-to-person support.
Courtesy of Canton Health Department
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Ohio is now 48th in the nation in infant mortality, 49th when it comes in African-American babies.  And a new national, state and local effort to change that is underway. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with Canton Health Commissioner Jim Adams about the effort to inventory programs now in place and see where they can go in the next three years.

LISTEN: A Q and A with Jim Adams

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:22)


By city standards, it’s a pretty small investment. By health officials’ measures, it’s potentially huge.

Canton City Council OK’d a $20,000 contract with a national group to work with a local group to figure out why so many babies – especially in Ohio’s urban areas – are dying. The Ohio rate is 7.7 deaths for every 1,000  births. And Jim Adams says there’s a lot of human pain in those numbers.

The really sad part about the rates is that while, generally national rates are improving, in Ohio that trend is actually getting worse. … But the real tragedy of the story is the disparity of birth outcomes between white children and African-American children. In Stark County, African-American babies are dying at a rate almost three times more often than white babies.”

Big issues and closer to home
He says the reasons may include the obvious: poverty, education, health care. But the focus of the project is to dig deeper to potential root causes within the Stark community.

“There are some suggestions that unless a community really examines the role that racism plays in their community in setting up these biases that we’re never really going to improve these rates.”

Adams acknowledges that three years in a health study is not very long. But three years in a mother and child’s life is huge. So the community is trying to address short-term, as well as long-term solutions.

“We’re going to be challenged to look at things like poverty, jobs, economics. … But we’re going to have to start doing something (before the end of the study) if we’re going to make some long-term, lasting improvement in the community.”

That includes supporting projects such as “centering pregnancy,” in which a group of women schedule their prenatal visits together and will likely continue their informal support group after their children are born.

The state of Ohio has set up the Ohio Equity Institute to work with nine urban areas to reduce infant mortality. The contract Canton council approved with the National Organization for Urban Maternal and Child Health Leaders, which will provide training and consultation  for the project.

Adams notes that the only state with a worse mortality rate than Ohio for African-American babies is Indiana.

Listener Comments:

I live in Canton and was appalled at the statistics quoted by our Health Commissioner. How in the world are we living in the 21st century and still seeing this shocking disparity in the mortality rates between african american babies and white babies? On this day as we are remember Dr. Martin Luther King's"I Have a Dream" speech we realize that this country still has a long way to go to reach the dream of equality for all of it's citizens.


Posted by: Anne DeGraffinreed (Canton Ohio) on August 29, 2013 12:08PM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Pluto: The Browns split from Manziel is long overdue
Get Brock Osweiler from the Denver Broncos! He's fantastic and seems like a great person.

Democratic Senate hopeful P.G. Sittenfeld pushes for local gun control
That makes no sense at all... why not let cities determine driving codes as well? Maybe Cincy want's folks to drive on the left side of the road. What could go ...

Exploradio: Autism in the workplace
I would love to get more information re: Autism on The Town and other such programs in Northeast Ohio. Thanks!!

Human trafficking cases rise in Ohio
It is about time this is presented to proceed with a plan of prevention..to protect our youth.And very necessary to inform communities through school, churches ...

Fermented food company aims to preserve Cleveland's farm-to-table movement
This is terrific! I make my own sauerkraut and consider it vital to good health. Well done, I wish you all success.

Ohio doctors get new guidelines for prescribing certain painkillers
I would gladly smoke pot to get off pain killers but its not legal.It would save the hassle of doctor visits for pill counts,pee tests,blood tests,driving to pi...

Ohio unemployment cuts are nearing a Statehouse vote
What about those that are laid off seasonally? My husband has been employed by the same company for 26 years and has been laid off (for the last 17) mid-Januar...

Ban on microbeads is a big step in fighting plastic pollution
What a bunch of liberal "so open minded their brains fell out" tree huggin yuppies. Professing to be wise they became fools.

Who's on -- and left off -- Ohio's medical marijuana task force?
Biggest joke everm these people are evil they know marijuana is harmless they rigged the polls last nov everypne kmows it

Dayton 'Black Lives Matter' protesters to appear in court today
Police to fast with the trigger finger and not the brain.A lot of police officers out here judge by color first instead of accessing the situation first. If a p...

Copyright © 2016 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University