Cleveland, OH,
18:00 PM

The MetroHealth System Receives $560,000 Grant to Help Combat Infant Mortality

The MetroHealth System has received a $560,000 grant from The Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Maternal, Child and Family Health. The grant, part of the federal Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), will help MetroHealth grow the Nurse-Family Partnership, which started earlier this year. This is the first MIECHV award in Cuyahoga County, and will help MetroHealth enroll up to 140 families in the first year.

The Nurse-Family Partnership pairs a registered nurse with a woman who is pregnant with her first child. The nurse visits the mom-to-be in her home before the baby is born and continues those visits until the baby turns two. The goal is to prevent health problems, especially preterm births – the number one cause of infant death. 


Brian Mercer, MD, chair of the Department of OB/GYN at MetroHealth
Here in Cuyahoga County, the infant mortality rate is among the highest in the nation. The Nurse-Family Partnership has a record of incredible success, and we are thrilled to receive these funds which will help more moms and babies.
Brian Mercer, MD, chair of the Department of OB/GYN at MetroHealth

The Nurse Family Partnership has resulted in a 79 percent reduction in preterm births for women who smoke, a 48 percent reduction in child abuse and neglect, a 56 percent reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings and a 68 percent increase in a father’s presence in the home.

“We are thrilled by this new partnership to address the needs of first-time moms and their infants through support of Cleveland’s NFP program. It is another example of Ohio’s commitment to reducing infant mortality and helping more babies reach their first birthday,” said Jye L. Breckenridge, MSW, LISW-S, Early Childhood Home Visiting Administrator for the Ohio Department of Health.

In December 2015, the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation was a major force behind bringing NFP to Cleveland, awarding a three year, $1.2 million start-up grant to MetroHealth. Cleveland’s George Gund Foundation, David and Inez Myers Foundation and Sisters of Charity Foundations also support the NFP with grants.

“This is a huge win for our efforts to establish NFP in Cleveland and for Cleveland’s youngest, most vulnerable families,” said Mitchell Balk, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation president.