About MomsFirst

MomsFirst is a home visitation program that helps mothers succeed during and after pregnancy. It is our mission to help mothers and families have healthy babies. MomsFirst was established in 1991 as the City’s Healthy Family/Healthy Start Program. Since that time, the program has evolved beyond getting pregnant women into prenatal care. Today, our primary goal is to reduce the number of        African American families who experience the death of a newborn before the first birthday and to improve birth outcomes for all       families.

Our Community Health Workers provide home visitation, education and support to pregnant women throughout their pregnancies and make every effort to help ease the stress that comes with becoming a parent. It does not matter whether you are a first time expectant mom or an experienced parent, MomsFirst will work with you and continue to support you until your child turns 2 years old. It is our   desire to help you and your baby be healthy as possible and help you plan for the future.

MomsFirst is funded primarily by Federal Healthy Start dollars (to read more about Healthy Start, click here), and is also supported by Cuyahoga County Invest in Children, and the City of Cleveland General Fund.

To read (a lot) more about our work in the MomsFirst Local Evaluation Report 2015, click here.

To read the full 2016 Annual Report, click here.

Our success comes in large part from the relationship our Community Health Workers have with their participants. By joining with each woman, Community Health Workers are able to address the social determinants of health that impact every person’s life. 

Understanding the Racial Disparity in Infant Mortality

Historically, solving infant mortality meant increasing access to prenatal care. Although previous intervention strategies improved earlier access to care, there was no significant decline in the number of infant deaths.

       We now understand that the contributing factors to infant mortality are complex.

In applying the social determinants of health framework, we know that the impact of issues such as poverty, inadequate housing, lack of quality education, and racism, have an adverse effect on health outcomes.

By viewing infant mortality through this lens, health disparities are more easily understood and the interventions necessary to assist     become more apparent.

In 2015, Your Story on Film, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and NEON, began working on a documentary to tell the story of infant mortality, its impact, its root causes, and its solutions. "One Life" debuted in April, 2016.

Ohio Equity Institute

The Cleveland/Cuyahoga Partnership to Improve Birth Outcomes (Ohio Equity Institute) is a community driven effort to reduce infant deaths.  

Beginning in 2013, the focus of this group has been to select, implement and evaluate equity-focused projects. Upstream and downstream approaches were selected and have been implemented throughout Cuyahoga County. The upstream approach is to promote the use of LARCs (Long-Acting Reversible Contraception) and the downstream approach is to implement group prenatal care                    (CenteringPregnancy) more equitably in our area.

The Ohio Equity Institute (OEI) is a group of concerned professionals and community members who work in or have an interest in maternal and child health. They meet on a monthly basis to assist our community’s most vulnerable families.

If you are interested in being a part of the work, the partnership is actively recruiting community members and representatives from         organizations that represent various social determinants of health (housing, education, nutrition, etc.).