$495,000 grant targets infant mortality in Mahoning County - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

$495,000 grant targets infant mortality in Mahoning County

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A grant of nearly half-a-million dollars will be used to help provide crucial information by through visits to pregnant women and parents in Mahoning County whose children are at risk for poor birth outcomes or development.

The Ohio Department of Health has awarded the Mahoning County Educational Service Center $495,000 in federal funding from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The grant targets communities with high rates of infant mortality, poor birth and child developmental outcomes, high occurrences of teen pregnancy, and families living in poverty.

Ohio's home visiting program, called "Help Me Grow," is administered by ODH, and home visiting services are provided locally through a statewide network of local agencies which provide expectant and new parents with information and support in the comfort of their homes.

Social workers, nurses, or other early childhood professionals meet regularly with at-risk pregnant women and their families to provide the support, education, and resources needed to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.

"Research shows that evidence-based home visiting improves birth outcomes and can help reduce infant mortality," said ODH Director Lance Himes. "These home visits also help improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, and connect families with needed supports and resources in their communities."

For more information about Ohio's Help Me Grow home visiting program, go to www.helpmegrow.ohio.gov.  

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