United Way of Summit & Medina partners with University of Akron to train health workers to reduce Black infant mortality

Feb 29, 2024

An innovative approach to addressing Black infant mortality, initiated through a partnership between United Way of Summit & Medina and the University of Akron is on track to launch as a pilot course in Summer of 2024. Students and current health professionals will be able to sign up for a one-credit course and online continuing education that will train them on the latest interventions to minimize infant mortality.

The course, titled “An Interprofessional Approach to Reduce the Black Infant Mortality Rate: A Bold Goal,” was developed by the University of Akron’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) with funding previously announced by United Way of Summit & Medina in 2023. A simulation will also be incorporated into the course and online training. With the course being offered in a virtual environment it will be accessible to a broad range of students and health care professionals.

“We are very pleased to partner with United Way Summit and Medina on this important topic,” said Timothy McCarragher, director of the University of Akron’s School of Social Work and Family Sciences. “This innovative approach emphasizes collaborative partnerships and draws together the full spectrum of current and future caretakers and providers with enhanced skills and knowledge to combat infant mortality and drive meaningful change within the ecosystem of infant care.”

The new course will help advance United Way of Summit & Medina’s Bold Goal 4 – to decrease the Black infant mortality rate to 6 per 1000 live births.

“Minimizing infant mortality in our community, and specifically Black infant mortality, which remains significantly higher than the average, will require collaboration across many sectors of our community,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. “From service providers to government agencies to individual healthcare professionals, we’re proud to be bringing people together to tackle this issue.”

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