Cleveland Clinic's new strategy to improve infant, maternal health in at-risk communities

Cleveland Clinic has launched the Center for Infant and Maternal Health, an effort that will support women from pregnancy through their child's first year of life. 

The initiative targets three high-risk Ohio counties, where infant mortality rates are high: Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit counties, according to a Jan. 30 news release. In Cuyahoga County, the infant mortality rate was 7.6 per 1,000 live births in 2020. Among white infants, the rate was 3.2 and among Black infants, 14.6.

"We recognize that these complex problems will only be solved if we embrace our responsibility to the communities we serve and work with community partners to find solutions," said Beri Ridgeway, MD, chief of staff at Cleveland Clinic. "We are committed to health equity and eliminating racial disparities by offering community-based, evidence-driven care."

In addition to reducing premature births, the center is focused on helping patients navigate postpartum care. To support its efforts, Cleveland Clinic has hired OB navigators and launched a comprehensive home visit program. The health system has shifted its postpartum care model to see mothers twice a week for the first six weeks after they give birth. 

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