Cuyahoga County’s 2015 infant mortality rate of 10.5 deaths per 1,000 live births was almost double the national rate. Causes and solutions to the local high rate of infant mortality are multifaceted and complex.
The next Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) seminar will feature a panel presentation based on First Year Cleveland’s work, titled “Innovative, Holistic Solutions in Solving a 45-Year+ Community Problem: Infant Mortality—First Year Cleveland and Community Partners Doing Business Differently.”
The panel will be composed of:
Bernadette Kerrigan, executive director of First Year Cleveland;
Christin Farmer, executive director of Birthing Beautiful Communities; and
Angela Neal-Barnett, professor at Kent State University.
The session will be held Wednesday, Nov. 8, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the PRCHN ground-floor conference room of the BioEnterprise Building,
First Year Cleveland, in partnership with the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, is a collaborative organization working to reduce infant mortality in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The organization has identified factors that affect local babies, as well as community partners who are leading innovative, holistic solutions to keep babies from dying by doing business differently.
About the panel
Bernadette Kerrigan is the inaugural executive director of First Year Cleveland. She began her career as a medical and perinatal social worker at University Hospitals. She joined United Way of Cleveland in 1989, where she led a community process to invest more than $300 million into health and human services. She then served as chief talent officer and chief operating officer at the Centers for Families and Children. Kerrigan holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio State University and completed master-level social work courses at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.
Christin Farmer is founder and executive director of Birthing Beautiful Communities, which has a mission of improving the social and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes through culture, education, advocacy, support and engagement. As trained doulas, Farmer and her team work directly with new mothers who are at high risk for infant mortality through the prenatal period, labor and delivery, and postpartum period, offering a wide range of services that include support and direction. Farmer holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and sociology from Kent State University.
Angela Neal-Barnett’s area of expertise is anxiety among black populations. She is the author of Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic and Fear, which is used in black communities across the country. Her current work focuses on culturally infused anxiety and stress interventions for black women and girls. This research integrates Neal-Barnett’s basic research on the role of cultural factors in the development and maintenance of anxiety with her work in community-based participatory services and interventions research. She holds a PhD in clinical psychology from DePaul University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. She is a professor of psychology and director of the Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders Among African Americans at Kent State University.
About the series
The PRCHN Seminar Series takes place on the second Wednesday of the month from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the PRCHN ground-floor conference room of the BioEnterprise Building. All seminars are free and open to the public. Parking is available.