YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We’ve been bringing you discussions with Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown on the underlying issues that are contributing to street violence in the city. Some topics include budgeting, poverty, crime prevention and a White House visit. Monday, we look at the issue of infant mortality.
“That’s where you start. My job is to bring individuals who are in those spaces of dealing with infant mortality, child health care and finding out why we are there,” Brown said. “It has to be something about mom’s pre-nutrition, once she has the baby and post-nutrition. We have to make sure that we continue to track.”
The focus is on future generations, the risks of poverty and the potential for improvement. Infant mortality and poverty go hand in hand. The solution is a challenge.
“We see so many services and you say, ‘why can’t we get this.?’ You can get that. When I was growing up you had WIC, you had all those programs that are still here. The question now is how are they being packaged – access, access,” Brown said.
That package includes access to health care, transportation, follow-up on medical appointments and easy access to services to ensure a healthy outcome for infants.
“Babies are already starting maybe two steps behind the other babies. We want to make sure we get them at the same level at the start, getting to the starting line together as others growing up at the same age. But it’s also trying to figure out how do we make sure that mom and the doctors and everyone are all on the same page because there is our future. These are the future citizens of my community, and I want them to start off from the same access point as anyone else so they can have equity,” Brown said.
The question is funding. Where will it come from?
“You have to look at the dollars that come into other agencies. My job is to bring those individuals to the table. Mayor’s job is five words: Find a problem. Solve it,” Brown said.