News & Announcements

New Research Will Help Reduce Infant Mortality

$900,000 state grant funds risk assessment study for African American infants

Cleveland State University is one of four universities that will receive Research Incentive funding from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to conduct research regarding infant mortality issues in the state.

The funding was allocated as part of a provision in House Bill 166, which gives ODHE the authority to use the funds to advance collaborative research in specified research areas. Awardees are chosen through a third-party, independent review process that is undertaken to objectively evaluate proposals through an RFP process. ODHE may award up to $1 million in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to support research of infant mortality issues.

“Issues that directly impact Ohio’s families are of great importance to the DeWine-Husted Administration,” ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner said. “Having this Research Incentive funding available will allow these universities to complete research projects with the ultimate goal of reducing infant mortality rates across the state.”

CSU will receive $982,322 for the implementation of “Survive and Thrive – A New Future for African American Babies.” The project, which is being conducted in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and Birthing Beautiful Communities of Cleveland, will analyze macro- and micro-economic factors and neighborhood and household conditions with the goal of identifying causal links to infant mortality. A Social Risk Assessment tool will be developed using the data, along with a toolkit linked to comprehensive services such as transportation access, housing placement, trauma therapy and job placement. 

A control group of pregnant African American women will be recruited and provided the Social Risk Assessment and tool kit resources, with comparisons made to those who have not gone through the program. This will allow the team to assess effectiveness and identify additional resources that may need to be included. The lead research team includes Dr. Gregory Hall (principal investigator), co-director of the CSU-NEOMED Partnerships for Urban Health,  Dr. Roland Anglin (co-principal investigator), dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at CSU and Dr. Heather Rice (co-principal investigator), assistant professor and certified pediatric nurse practitioner in CSU's School of Nursing.
Additional institutions receiving funding include The Ohio State University, Bowling Green State University and Mt. St. Joseph University.