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Week of February 8th Round-Up

Groundwork Announces New Maternal and Young Child Health Transformation Center

This week, with a leadership investment by bi3, we announced the creation of the innovative Maternal and Young Child Health Transformation Center (MYCHTC) dedicated to transforming systems to better serve Ohio’s pregnant moms and their young children. This “center of excellence” will advance best practices to improve cross systems prenatal-to-five health policy through rigorous stakeholder engagement and advocacy. The MYCHTC will work closely with the recently launched Center for Family Voice at Groundwork Ohio to ensure that lasting relationships with pregnant women, parents and caregivers are fostered to inform policy development and support advocacy.


Why Local Leadership Matters for Young Children

Join Groundwork and our partners at the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Ready, Set, Soar Ohio and the National Association of Counties for a webinar on Wednesday, February 24th from 9:30- 10:30 AM. During this webinar, you will learn from national and Ohio county leaders on what you can do to expand high-quality services for infants and toddlers in your community.

The first three years of a child’s life are the “brick and mortar” of brain development - building the foundation for future learning, behavior, and health. Evidence shows that when we invest in young children from prenatal to age three (PN-3), they become healthy children who are confident, empathetic, and ready for school and life. Ohio’s county leaders are advancing strong PN-3 systems to improve outcomes for young children and their families.


Carolyn Rice, County Commissioner – Montgomery County, Ohio


April Jenkins, Children, Youth, and Family Services Manager, El Paso County Department of Human Services – El Paso County, Co.

Ken Cornell, County Commissioner and Board Member, Children’s Trust of Alachua County – Alachua County, Fla.


Column: Child Care Crisis During Pandemic Sets Back Learning and Earning

Earlier this week, State Representative Allison Russo (24 - Upper Arlington) authored a guest column in the Columbus Dispatch. In this article, Representative Russo makes the case for how child care supports early childhood development, getting families back to work, and Ohio's economic recovery in both the short and long-term.

"Like roads, bridges, and school buildings, child care is critical infrastructure in Ohio," said Representative Allison Russo. "If we let the child care system fail and leave behind the essential workers who sustain these programs, we are letting our economy crash and burn without a detour or alternate plan in sight."


Join Us in Welcoming Ali Yogmour to the Groundwork Team

Last Friday, Ali Yogmour joined the Groundwork team as its Operations Manager, a newly created position within our organization. Prior to joining Groundwork, Ali served as Executive Coordinator for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services and led numerous operations for the Department during the COVID-19 crisis. She has a B.A. in Psychology and Criminology from Capital University and paralegal certificate from Capital University Law School. Ali worked as an aide in both bodies of the state legislature, including time in the office of former State Senator Shannon Jones, where she was instrumental in working to elevate within the legislature the urgent need to focus on infant mortality reduction efforts and identifying the social determinants of health. She has experience working through several state budget processes and has organized and staffed numerous legislative committees.


COVID-19 and Child Care: Lessons Learned for Moving Forward

On Wednesday, February 24th from 12:30-1:30 PM, join researchers from the Ohio COVID-19 Child Care Study as they discuss COVID-19 among staff and families affiliated with child care programs across the state and lessons learned for managing the impact moving forward. The virtual seminar will also highlight key voices with expertise in child health and wellbeing in addressing the value of child care and the importance of sustained investment.

  • Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH, Director, Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health, Presenter

  • Mary Beth Marks, MBA, Interim Program Manager, Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health, Moderator


  • Lynanne Gutierrez, Esq., Assistant Director and Legal Counsel, Groundwork Ohio

  • Carol Haynes, RN, MS, Executive Director/President/Owner, Kiddie Academy®

  • Kristie Ross, MD, MS, Chief, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital


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