Jones, Tavares Announce Implementation of SB 279 from 130th GA
Four Community Health Center Pilots to Reduce Infant Mortality
COLUMBUS- State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and State Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) today announce four community health centers selected to participate in the two-year Centering Pregnancy Demonstration Project. These newly established pilot programs will connect at-risk expectant mothers with care and support in order to combat Ohio's high infant mortality rate.
The program was initially proposed in Senate Bill 279, bipartisan legislation jointly introduced by Senator Jones with Senator Tavares during the 130th General Assembly. Additionally, this demonstration project was included in the as passed by the Senate version of the mid-biennium review (HB 483) of the 130th General Assembly. However, this provision was removed during conference committee.
"The infant mortality rate in Ohio remains at an unacceptable level and it is time for this state to get serious about fighting the problem," said Jones. "I commend the Ohio legislature for continuing to engage in an honest conversation about this issue and make critical investments to help reduce infant death in Ohio."
During the summer of 2013, Senators Jones and Tavares held hearings in 6 Ohio cities to learn about the problem of infant mortality and investigate possible solutions.
"We were impressed with what we learned about centering pregnancy initiatives in both Dayton and Cleveland," said Jones. "We knew the state should lean-in to jump start more programs because the outcomes were so promising."
The initiative will create a prenatal group health care pilot program using the Centering Pregnancy model of care that will operate for two years at four federal qualified health centers. These groups will provide a dynamic atmosphere for learning and sharing that enables women to normalize the experience of pregnancy and create a solid social support network.
The four sites that will be sharing $900,000 in funding from Ohio Health Transformations are the Columbus Neighborhood Health Center (Columbus), the Five Rivers Health Centers (Dayton), the Muskingum Valley Health Centers (Muskingum County) and the Neighborhood Health Association (Toledo).
"This program will provide at-risk mothers with resources and support to encourage healthy habits and pregnancies," said Jones. "It is my hope that this initiative will bring the necessary resources to these high-risk communities and we will soon start to see a reduction in the number of babies Ohio loses before their first birthday."
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Senator Shannon Jones represents Ohio's 7th Senate District, which encompasses all of Warren County and portions of Butler and Hamilton Counties. To learn more, go to www.OhioSenate.gov/Jones. To download a high-resolution photo of Senator Jones, click here.
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