Governor DeWine Creates Eliminating Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality Task Force

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced the creation of the statewide Eliminating Disparities in Infant Mortality Task Force aimed at addressing Ohio’s racial disparities in infant mortality.

In December 2020, Governor DeWine announced the formation of the Task Force tasked with:

  • Working with local, state, and national leaders to develop a statewide shared vision and strategy for reducing infant mortality rates and eliminating racial disparities by 2030.
  • Creating actionable recommendations for interventions, performance and quality improvement, data collection, and policies.
  • Advising the Governor’s Children’s Initiative on ways to improve Ohio’s investments and strategies to address racial inequalities in birth outcomes.

“Since my first full day in office, when we created the Home Visiting Advisory Committee, we have been working to reduce infant mortality and the racial disparities that exist,” said Governor DeWine. “This Task Force is the next step we are taking to ensure that all babies have the opportunity to grow up and reach their full potential. This group of experts will hear personal testimonies, explore barriers Ohioans are facing, and recommend solutions that help develop new action steps for the state.”

Members of the Task Force include professionals in medicine, local and state government, parents, and many more. The following individuals have been appointed to a six-month term on the Task Force:

  • Kristi Burre, Director of Children’s Initiatives, Office of Governor Mike DeWine
  • Jamie Carmichael, Chief, Health Opportunity Advisor, Ohio Department of Health
  • Michele Reynolds, Director, Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives
  • Amy Burkett, MD, Chair, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists-Ohio Section
  • Stacy Scott, PhD, MPA, Executive Director, Baby’s First Network
  • Maureen Stapleton, MOD, Executive Director, CelebrateOne
  • Meredith Shockley-Smith, PhD, Director of Equity and Community Strategies, Cradle Cincinnati
  • Aaron and Kadijah Lee, Parent, Family Representatives
  • Carol White, Parent, Family Representative
  • Paraysha Dunn, Parent, Family Representative
  • Tamiyka Rose, MPA, Health Equity Ambassador, City of Akron
  • Shannon Jones, Executive Director, GroundWork Ohio
  • Lisa Amlung Holloway, Director, Maternal and Infant Health, March of Dimes Ohio
  • Denise Williams, 2nd Vice Chair for NAACP Ohio Conference
  • Arthur James, MD, FACOG, Senior, First Year Cleveland
  • Edwin Tharp, Ohio Housing Authority Conference
  • Charleta B. Tavares,  Ohio Association of Community Health Centers
  • Erin Bishop, MPH, Ohio Association of Health Commissioners
  • Angela Weaver, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Ohio Association of Health Plans
  • Dr. Jordee Wells, MD, MPH, Member, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Stacy Smith, MHA, RN, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association
  • Jim Greenberg, MD, Co-Chair, Ohio Collaboarative to Prevent Infant Mortality
  • Kimberly Dent, Executive Director, Ohio Commission on Fatherhood
  • Lily Cavanaugh, Executive Director, Ohio Latino Affairs Commission
  • Angela Dawson, Executive Director, Ohio Commission on Minority Health
  • Ryan Everett, MPH, Director, Community and Public Health Programs, Ohio Hospital Association
  • Shawn Smith, Interim Executive Director, Ohio Housing Finance Agency
  • David Dhanraj, MD, MBA, Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative
  • Claudia Herrold, MA, Chief, Communications and Public Health Officer, Philanthropy Ohio
  • Dawn Miller, MBA, RDH, Program Manager, Stark County THRIVE

The Task Force will hold their second meeting on Tuesday, May 18, after completing regional listening sessions.

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