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Infant Mortality Summit

On Wednesday, the first Ohio Infant Mortality Summit was held  Ohio has a higher rate of Infant Mortality and greater disparities.  The Summit sought to bring individuals and groups together to partner on solutions, which include pulse ox screening for newborns.


As you may have read, congenital heart defects are a leading cause of infant mortality.  By performing a pulse oximetry test on all newborns, Ohio can improve outcomes by ensuring babies have appropriate follow up testing and an action plan based on the babies needs.  As you may have read from previous posts, this is an active effort in Ohio.  It is simple, non-invasive and inexpensive.  Most importantly, it can make a big difference!

In addition, there are so many other issues that overlap with heart disease and stroke.  As we work on the following policy solutions, we can impact so much more!

  • Nutrition - We all know eating right will make us healthy.  Options that make this the easy choice and remove barriers in all settings are important.
  • Physical Activity - The balance with nutrition...physical activity.  Again, policies that provide safe and affordable community opportunities for physical activity, also provide greater opportunities for moms.
  • Tobacco Free - As you have probably read, Ohio struggles most with this area.  We are ranked 50th, as in last, in tobacco prevention and cessation funding.  We can do a better job of preventing Ohioans from starting to use tobacco.  In addition, we can do a better job of helping current tobacco users quit.  Since not everyone quits in the same way.  Ohio should provide a comprehensive approach that includes all recommended methods.
  • Access to Quality Health Care - Being dedicated to science and research, we know the value they provide.  Efforts and policies that focus on the translation of science to practice, as well as ensuring health care is affordable and accessible are key.

As we prepare for our plans on heart disease and stroke policy in the new year and in the new General Assembly, it is inspiring to know we can help impact other critical issues with a common agenda.  With our combined voice, we CAN see success! 

Thanks to the folks that invited me to the conference.  It was a great experience! 


Ohio Department of Health, Director Wymyslo

To see more from the conference, including additional photos, find us on Facebook at

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