“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Dr. Maya Angelou 

Did you know that for more than 50 years, babies in the Greater Cleveland area have been dying at a rate similar to many third-world countries? The numbers are even higher for African American babies!

Cuyahoga County leaders accepted the call to action and created First Year Cleveland (FYC). FYC is a County-wide Initiative working together to lower the number of babies dying before the age of one. It focuses on 3 priority areas including (1) reducing racial disparities, (2) addressing extreme prematurity, and (3) eliminating sleep related deaths. FYC understands the importance of saving our babies and providing support to those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.

Pregnancy and infant loss include:

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • The death of a baby before his or her first birthday (also called infant mortality) 

In 2018, FYC identified two community leaders to lead the effort in helping African Americans who have experienced loss. Sabrina Roberts, Administrator of Health Policy and Programs for Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services, and Tracy Carter, Vice President of Government Relations at The MetroHealth System, joined forces to create the Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Initiative (PAIL). PAIL is driven by the voices of the 40-member PAIL Committee, which includes African Americans who have experienced loss, community leaders, government agencies, health care providers, mental health professionals, faith-based institutions, and non-profit organizations.

What We Offer

We are honored to provide hope to families who have experienced loss. Our arms are open to parents, siblings, extended family (i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.), communities, and clinicians by offering: 

  • Healing Support Groups
  • Grief Information Guide
  • Black Infant Loss Society
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Events
  • Education and Wellness Events
  • Resources and Training for Clinicians 

To learn more about First Year Cleveland, visit firstyearcleveland.com