$200,000 donation to support infant mortality initiatives in Dayton
(DAYTON, OH – Nov. 1, 2022) – CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today that it is dedicating $200,000 to expand the Healthy Beginnings at Home pilot program to Dayton and Montgomery County. Healthy Beginnings at Home provides housing assistance and stabilization services to pregnant women experiencing housing insecurity while also gathering scientific data on the correlation between stable housing and improved birth outcomes.
Healthy Beginnings at Home was previously piloted in Columbus, Ohio, and reported positive results including the intervention group having no infant deaths and more full-term, healthy births. Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) will lead the program, gathering evidence to determine how the program fares within the city of Dayton. In addition to conducting the initial screening and intake of all potential program participants, GDAHA will complete the extensive enrollment process with each participant in-person. This includes assigning them to a Housing Stabilization Specialist who will help them locate appropriate housing as well as direct them to additional resources.
“As our team steps into the role of piloting this program, our goal is to emulate the results seen in Columbus through hard work and dedication to the women we serve,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, CEO and president of GDAHA.
Dayton’s infant mortality rate has previously been a cause for concern with public health data reporting that the infant mortality rate within Montgomery County increased from 44 to 58 deaths between 2018 and 2019. Additionally, the financial strain felt by residents due to the implications of COVID-19 also affected many individuals’ ability to locate and/or remain in adequate housing. The Healthy Beginnings at Home program aims to improve health by removing a number of the barriers that are currently holding pregnant women back from stable, affordable and quality housing.
State and local leaders, such as State Representative Andrea White of Kettering who represents the 41st House District, have been working to expand the program into other parts of the state.
“I am truly grateful to see organizations like CareSource and GDAHA help bring a much-needed program to the women and families in our region,” said Rep. White. “Supporting struggling mothers and families within this community continues to be a passion of mine and I look forward to witnessing the positive impact this program will have in our cities to help improve birth outcomes and prevent infant mortality.”
“Replicating the success of Healthy Beginnings at Home in Montgomery County will provide a critical element to our work to support mothers and babies in our community,” said Montgomery County commissioner Debbie Lieberman. “By focusing on housing support, we will remove housing instability from the equation and help our children have the safe and secure future they deserve.”
CareSource continues to be dedicated to ingraining and supporting programs that address the social determinants of health within communities. Through this Healthy Beginnings at Home, vulnerable populations will receive support in the present day, while also receiving the tools and guidance to build a healthier future for themselves and their families.
“Housing is a major social determinant of both maternal and infant health,” said Steve Ringel, president of CareSource Ohio. “This program holds the ability to remove the weight of homelessness or housing instability on the family, potentially reducing the likelihood of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth and infant mortality. This is just one of many programs that the CareSource team is proud to advocate for as it is specifically supporting mothers and babies.”
In addition to Montgomery County, Healthy Beginnings at Home is present in three other Ohio counties, providing housing intervention services for 300 women in order to produce statistically viable data to show that housing interventions prevent infant mortality, reduce racial disparities and lower Medicaid spending.