Investigating Ohio’s High Infant Mortality

Ohio continues to struggle with high levels and significant disparities in infant and maternal mortality, unintended pregnancies, and health care coverage and access, including to contraceptive and abortion services. Our research aims to answer the following question:

How do social determinants of health, biases, attitudes, cultural norms, laws, and policies in urban Ohio impact access to and use of reproductive and other health services (e.g. contraception, abortion, prenatal care, birth care), pregnancy, and maternal and child health?”

Our project begins by gathering groups of stakeholders from community and advocacy organizations, local and state public health, and health care administrators to generate collective knowledge about the processes driving high infant and maternal mortality and the complex relationships between multiple determinants operating at multiple levels (e.g., individual, community, organizations, and policies). We then apply system dynamics modeling to produce mathematical descriptions of these processes and to provide decision-makers with tools to conduct “What if?” analysis for multiple reproductive health outcomes and policy interventions.

Team Members