September 30, 2020
Cradle Cincinnati and Queens Village
In 2011, Hamilton County, Ohio (Cincinnati), had the second-highest infant mortality rate in the United States. Throughout the 2000s, about 125 infants died per year; 71, on average, were Black. Black mothers said they didn’t feel seen, valued or heard, which they thought contributed to their infants’ outlying mortality rates. In response, Cradle Cincinnati was born. It found the greatest risk factors with extreme preterm births — which are a big contributor to the infant mortality rate — were unexpected pregnancies, stress during pregnancy and implicit bias in prenatal care. In 2018, Cradle Cincinnati launched a $25-million plan to combat infant mortality and learn how racism can lead to extreme preterm birth and infant deaths. One outcome is “sacred spaces” — meetings and events for Black women to be seen, heard and valued that came to be known as Queens Village. Hamilton County saw 14 fewer Black infant deaths in 2019—a 24% decrease in Black infant mortality compared to the previous 5 years. This new milestone comes as a community of partners are focused squarely on improving the longstanding racial disparity in birth outcomes caused by the historical injustices the Black community has faced. ACS partners with Cradle Cincinnati and other infant mortality prevention collaboratives throughout the state through its work with First Year Cleveland. Learn more in this recent news article.