Homeport Joins 'CelebrateOne' Initiative
Looking to make a dent in infant mortality rates, Homeport is providing portable cribs to its residents as part of the “CelebrateOne” initiative from the City of Columbus and Columbus Public Health.
“This is such an important resource because Ohio, and more specifically Franklin County, has some of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation, and many of these deaths are sleep-related,” said Jill Guinan, a Homeport Resident Services coordinator.
The “Cribs for Kids Survival Kit” being offered to residents includes:
· a Graco Pack ‘n Play portable crib
· a sleep sack
· a fitted crib sheet
· a pacifier
· a board book
· a Cribs for Kids DVD
· a packet of safe sleep campaign materials.
“A (Homeport) staff member will visit the family in their home and provide safe sleep education, demonstrate how to safely use the portable crib, and assess any other household safety concerns,” Guinan said.
Statistics show Ohio has the 6th highest infant mortality rate in the country. On average, one baby dies every other week in Franklin County due to unsafe sleep practices. The rate of infant mortality is 2.5 times greater for Black/African-American babies.
Lawrence Furst II, Homeport Supportive Services Manager, and Guinan’s Supervisor, said the potential lifesaving equipment and information for Homeport children is the result of Guinan’s efforts and ability to recognize a need.
“This was a partnership she developed by herself with Columbus Public Health,” Furst said. “It eliminates the barrier of residents having to physically go to the Health department.”
Eight areas of Franklin County have been identified as the highest-risk areas for infant death; 19 Homeport communities are located in these areas.
Homeport residents interested in enrolling in Homeport’s Cribs for Kids program can do so by calling 614 545-4844. The general public is encouraged to learn more about infant mortality and how to prevent it by clicking here.