Families First of Middletown is helping women fight infant mortality through a variety of programs.

Middletown woman hailed ‘Everyday Hero’ for efforts to stop infant deaths

Ruth Kelly, director and administrator of Families First, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving babies in Middletown, was recognized as the award recipient for southwest Ohio.

MORE: Butler County infant mortality rate shows improvement

She was honored this month at the Ohio Statehouse Ohio Children’s Trust Fund’s April Child Abuse and Child Neglect Prevention Awareness Month campaign kickoff event.

At the April 17 Middletown City Council meeting, Mayor Larry Mulligan presented Kelly with a certificate of recognition on behalf of the city.

Ruth Kelly was presented a certificate of recognition April 17 from Middletown Mayor Larry Mulligan for her work as director and administrator of Families First. On April 5, Kelly was the named the Everyday Hero Award recipient for southwest Ohio by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund. The organization established the Everyday Hero Awards to honor those individuals who dedicate their time, efforts, or lives to preventing child abuse and child neglect. An Everyday Hero is an individual who has made a significant impact on child abuse and child neglect prevention through their everyday acts. ED RICHTER/STAFF

The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund established the Everyday Hero Awards to honor those individuals who dedicate their time, efforts, or lives to preventing child abuse and child neglect.

An Everyday Hero is an individual who has made a significant impact on child abuse and child neglect prevention through their everyday acts.

MORE: Here’s what local agencies are doing to better protect babies in Butler County

The organization and the city said that Kelly’s legacy of service will stand as a hallmark for others to emulate.

Families First is a faith-based organization that provides education classes and support for women who are already mothers and to those who are pregnant to increase good health focusing on obesity, nutrition, physical activity, and parenting.

MORE: Middletown’s Families First expand efforts to fight infant mortality

Some of their initiatives range from smoking cessation to centering pregnancy programs, will deal with high risk African-American women who are pregnant.

Black babies are dying at twice the rate of white babies before the age of one in Butler County, according to Kelly.

Kelly said she wants to see all of the agencies and churches work together to build up our community and to see babies not just survive, but to thrive. 

MORE: Middletown infant’s death spurs warning for parents

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