Columbus Program Will Help Pregnant Women With Transportation
A pilot program in Columbus, Ohio, will provide on-demand rides to pregnant women to help them get to doctor’s appointments and run errands. From July to November this year, the program will offer transportation to 500 women who are receiving Medicaid and live in neighborhoods in Columbus with the highest infant mortality rates.
"In an email to CityLab, Courtney Lynch, a professor of obstetrics at the Ohio State University who is co-leading the evaluation of the pilot, called the program 'a completely novel intervention,' designed to research whether lowering barriers to prenatal care and reducing gaps in transportation for low-income women can eventually treat the city’s darkest public health issue," reports Laura Bliss.
Bliss notes that the United States, Ohio, and Franklin County all have high infant mortality rates. In addition, the mortality rate nationally for black babies is 2.4 times that of white babies. Studies have shown that lack of access to prenatal care and stress are two factors strongly tied to infant mortality, particularly among poor and African-American women.
The $1 million of funding for the Columbus program is coming from a $50 million Smart City Challenge grant the city won from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a series of technology projects.