Bold Changes in Health
Good health is the cornerstone to a better life. It influences everything — from a child’s academic performance to an adult’s earning potential.
At United Way of Greater Stark County, we’re working to improve the health of our community by funding programs to support healthy lifestyles, physical health and behavioral health. We’re aiming to expand care for all ages, increase access to preventative services for mothers and their babies, promote healthy behaviors and reduce opiate substance abuse in our community.
To achieve our Bold Goals, we need your help. Join the fight, and together, we can ensure a healthier future for Greater Stark County.
Stark County Faces Ongoing Health Challenges
- 34 percent of third-graders are overweight or obese (Source: Stark County Community Health Improvement Plan, 2012)
- 8.2 Infant Mortality Rate – the number of infants who died within their first year of life per 1,000 births – a higher rate than the statewide average of 6.9 and the national average of 5.96 (Source: Stark County THRIVE, 2013)
- 3.0 Infant Mortality Disparity Ratio – black infants die at three times the rate of white infants, a 6.7 IMR for white infants compared to 20.2 IMR for black infants (Source: Stark County THRIVE, 2014)
- 3 percent of children brought into custody sighted parental drug use as a factor with heroin and opiates being the most frequent at 17 percent (Source: Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery, 2015)
Increase the number of Stark County Residents who report they are healthy
Reduce infant mortality to meet or exceed the Healthy People 2020 Objective and reduce disparity across races
A focus on early childhood health
Birth to age five are critical years for a child’s physical and behavioral development. Learn how we’re supporting early childhood health programs in Stark and Carroll County.
United Way of Greater Stark County invests nearly $1 million in 23 programs focused on strategies that give residents access to services that improve the overall health of our community.
We collaborate with community organizations like THRIVE (Stark County Toward Healthy Resiliency for Infant Vitality and Equity), whose goal is to enhance the health and well-being of women, infants and families by improving the community resources and service delivery systems available to them. THRIVE has selected two interventions that would allow for the greatest possible impact in reducing infant mortality and disparity rates in our community:
- Safe Sleep Education, Policies and Resources: creates awareness, provides educational programs and institutionalizes safe sleep policies and practices.
- CenteringPregnancy® Group Prenatal Care with Community-Based Care Coordination: provides education on early prenatal care, addresses barriers to accessing prenatal care and other socio-economic needs by providing information and connection to community resources.
By supporting THRIVE and other health initiatives in our community, we can achieve our 2020 Bold Goals
Carlynn is a mother of five. She knows the routine of doctor visits and the loneliness of waiting rooms. When she was expecting her fourth child, Carlynn found a new pregnancy experience through THRIVE’s Centering Pregnancy® Group Prenatal Care.
Carlynn joined a group of other expectant mothers of all ages. The group met regularly throughout her entire pregnancy. Each meeting featured the same doctors and nurses. Even more importantly, the same women attended each gathering.
Over the course of the program, Carlynn and the women developed a strong, lasting camaraderie as they learned more about caring for themselves and their babies.
It is wonderful just knowing you don’t have to go through it alone. The women in the group and the doctors and nurses empower you and give you comfort and confidence through the entire process. That part alone is powerful.
THRIVE helped Carlynn learn about safe sleep, swaddling, developmental milestones, birthing options and more. Even though Carlynn already had three children, through CenteringPregnancy® she learned new information.
More than just an alternative to standard doctor visits, THRIVE connected Carlynn and other women in her group with resources, transportation, housing and food needs. THRIVE made the difference for Carlynn and her