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Jones, State Officials Announce Pilot Program in Dayton to Reduce Ohio's Infant Mortality Rate

Thursday, July 16, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Samantha Porter
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Jones, State Officials Announce Pilot Program in Dayton to Reduce Ohio's Abysmal Infant Mortality Rate 

COLUMBUS - State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) today joined other state officials in announcing the selection of the Five Rivers Community Health Center to pilot the Centering Pregnancy model of care. The Dayton health center is one of four federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) across Ohio chosen to participate in the Centering Pregnancy program, an initiative geared toward reducing Ohio's infant mortality rate.

"Montgomery County loses 7.6 babies per 1,000 live births and that rate skyrockets to 12.4 among black babies, said Jones. "This is simply unacceptable."

The pilot program was initially proposed in Senate Bill 279, a bipartisan bill jointly introduced by Senator Jones with Senator Tavares (D-Columbus) during the 130th General Assembly. SB 279 was originally introduced as a part of a package of interventions to tackle the state's abysmal infant mortality rate following the legislators' statewide infant mortality hearings in the summer of 2013.

Senator Jones with Julie DiRossi-King (OH Assoc. of Community Health Centers), Sharvelta Harding (a Center Pregnancy program participant) and staff from the Five Rivers Health Center. 

"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 the Five Rivers Community Health Center. These groups 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 Five Rivers Community Health Center will share $900,000 in funding from Ohio Health Transformations with three other federal qualified health centers that will pilot this program. 


Jones said, "It is my hope that this initiative will provide the Dayton region with the resources it needs to significantly reduce the number of babies who die before their first birthday."

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Senator Shannon Jones represents Ohio's 7 
th Senate District, which encompasses all of Warren County and portions of Butler and Hamilton Counties. To learn more, go to To download a high-resolution photo of Senator Jones, click here.


Release Date: Wednesday, July 16, 2015
Contact: Kailyn McGowan at (614) 466-9737 or