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Infant Mortality Focus Of Dayton Meeting

Roundtable discussions on infant mortality rates continue in Dayton Thursday, and members of the Ohio Senate, public health officials and health professionals in Dayton will gather with a common purpose in mind – to lower infant death rates in Ohio.

According to officials at Dayton Children’s Hospital, in Montgomery County one infant dies every 4-6 weeks.

It’s a statewide problem.Ohio has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. 

Since 1997 Dayton Children's has been a part of Montgomery County's Child Fatality Review Board (CFRB), and officials there believe that in most cases, these deaths could have been prevented.

Jessica Saunders with Dayton Children’s says, “Children should sleep alone, on their back, and in a crib.”

Saunders calls these tenants the ABCs of Safe Sleep, and the hospital will have nurses on hand in the afternoon session to talk about that program. 

According to Saunders, Children’s see about 275,000 to 290,000 children each year and the hospital believes it can “impact the numbers by making sure that every parent that walks through [their] halls knows the ABCs of safe Sleep.”

Joining Dayton Children’s in the discussions are Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, Miami Valley Hospital and members of the Senate Standing Committee on Medicaid, Health, and Human Services. That committee has set up these forums around the state.  They say it’s a collaborative effort to save the lives of infants born in Ohio.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.