John Corlett’s top 10 favorite reports of 2018

The Center for Community Solutions’ offices are closed through January 2, and on the last day of 2018 we want to share our president and executive director, John Corlett’s top 10 Community Solutions’ reports from 2018. The report topics span a variety of health and human services issues, ranging from seniors to teens, infant mortality to Medicaid.

We hope you enjoy them!

Should Your Address Determine Access to Aging Services? An Analysis of Senior Tax Levies in Ohio

As demographics shift, Ohio will eventually have a higher percentage of older adults than of children. Federal funding from the Older Americans Act provides money for programs and services to help older adults maintain independence as they age. While these funds provide vital support they have not kept pace with the growing need. In 17 Ohio counties, one-in-four residents is now 60 or older, and, while not all require assistance and support from a non-familial source, an increasing number do. Flat funding combined with rising need have left communities alone to answer the questions: who is responsible for paying for senior services? Where will the money to provide basic needs and quality of life services for older adults come from? Read more here.

The fight against infant mortality must begin before birthdays, reflecting as a daughter turns one

Racial disparities in infant mortality are well-documented. Data suggests that these disparities are being driven by preterm births. In Cuyahoga County, the rate of very preterm births (less than 32 weeks gestation) for black, non-Hispanics, was more than three times that for white, non-Hispanics, and 82 percent of births before 22 weeks were to black non-Hispanic mothers. Recent studies point to the cumulative effect of a lifetime of stress as a reason why women of color are more likely to experience poor birth outcomes. Read the full piece here.

Ohio Medicaid Funding for County Program for Children with Autism, and Other Mental Health Needs, Slated to End

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) was poised to end a special funding arrangement for a 27-year-old program in Cuyahoga County called Positive Education Program (PEP) Connections. Each year, PEP Connections serves nearly 900 high-risk youth with autism, and or other intensive mental health needs who are also at risk of out-of-home placement. The proposed termination of the funding was the result of ODM and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ (OhioMHAS) efforts to move behavioral health into their existing system of Medicaid managed care. But Greater Cleveland health, education, child welfare and juvenile court officials are increasingly raising concerns about how ending the special funding arrangement will impact these very ill children and their families. Read more here.

A Legacy Lives On

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences celebrated the appointment of Mark L. Joseph, Ph.D., as the Leona Bevis/Marguerite Haynam Associate Professor in Community Development. From a personal perspective, Bevis left a legacy of commitment and community services that still helps thousands of people every day. During her career, she helped design and advocate on behalf of improved policies and services on the state and local levels, led local drives to provide immediate help to Clevelanders in need, helped develop the professionalism of the social work field and played a pivotal role in the Center for Community Solutions’ history. Learn more here.

Putting the “Mother” Back into Maternal and Infant Health

In the United States, women are dying from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth at a higher rate than other industrialized nations, and the rate is increasing. Approximately 700 women die each year in the U.S., and thousands more experience complications. Non-Hispanic black women are dying at a rate three to four times that of non-Hispanic white women. The most recent data available shows that between 2008 and 2014, there were 408 pregnancy-associated deaths in Ohio. Read more here.

982 Ohioans were diagnosed with HIV last year. This number could be zero

The Center for Community Solutions received updated HIV epidemiology, the study of the distribution of disease in a population, from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in June. The good news in those numbers, was that the county’s HIV infection rate in 2016 was down, albeit modestly, for the fourth consecutive year, to 194 new diagnoses. However, almost 1,000 new HIV infections were diagnosed in the state in 2016, an increase from 2015, and roughly the same number of people who were diagnosed in 1997, the year after anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV treatment was first used successfully. Learn more here.

New Medicaid Eligibility Requirements Hit Close to Home

In July, our executive director, John Corlett, learned that pending state policy change could likely result in a lot of his neighbors losing their health care coverage. Data prepared by the Cuyahoga County Department of Job and Family Services produced a map showing where the largest number of county residents lived who are most at risk of losing their Medicaid coverage due to proposed state eligibility changes. The neighborhood most at risk, according to the map, was Corlett’s own Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, the place he has called home for the past 26 years. Read more here.

Thirty Percent of Cuyahoga County teens experienced ‘depressive symptoms,’ One in six considered suicide

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey was developed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and provides a snapshot of student behaviors that impact health. It covers a wide range of topics, from diet and exercise to personal safety; alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; sex and depression. It also assesses protective factors experienced by students. Nearly 80 percent of Cuyahoga County high schools participated in the 2017 survey, providing us with a glimpse into the lives of young people in Northeast Ohio. Learn more here.

Cleveland is dead last in child poverty

Cleveland’s child poverty rate is the worst of any large U.S. city, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey 1-year estimates show that 48.7 percent of children under age 18 in Cleveland lived in poverty in 2017. That’s the highest child poverty rate of any city with a population of more than  250,000. Ohio is the only state with two cities in the bottom ten – Cincinnati is third, just in front of Detroit. Learn more here.

New Census data offers insight on how work requirements may affect low-income Ohioans’ access to food assistance

Each year, the release of new census data from the year before offers a chance to learn the latest changes in population shifts, poverty rates, insurance coverage and other important indicators within our communities. Data and policy wonks are often quick to point to certain policy decisions and social trends that drive the outcomes shown in the new data. With the release of the 2017 one-year census estimates,The Center for Community Solutions was particularly eager to look at how access to public food assistance for those living in or near poverty has changed in Ohio since 2014; the year the state reinstated work requirements for the program. Learn more here.