Celebrate One – South Linden

The infant mortality rate of a community is a widely accepted gauge of the general health of a neighborhood.   Despite having some of the best medical resources and social services of any big city in America, Columbus’ infant mortality rate is alarming high, more than twice that of New York City, with african-american babies dying at two-and-a-half times the rate of white babies.   That is why in late 2013, Council President Andrew J. Ginther announced a county wide task force to study the social determinants of maternal health and infant mortality.   The Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force worked for six months and made many significant recommendations including the creation of Celebrate One, the program to implement task force initiatives in three infant mortality hotspots that experience the highest number of infant deaths, the Near South Side, Near East Side and South Linden. The goals of Celebrate One are called some of the most aggressive in the nation by those in the health care field.  Celebrate One looks to cut overall infant mortalitiy rate by 40% and reduce the racial disparity between black and white infant mortality in half by 2020.  Successful results in the three target neighborhoods will guide future infant mortality reduction efforts in the Hilltop, Franklinton, Northland area near Route 161 and Morse Road, Northeast, and Southeast Columbus.