The CLEVELAND CHILD HEALTH ASSN. (CCHA), founded in 1929, was one of the most successful health and child-welfare programs in the U.S. for almost 20 years. Designed to educate women about maternal and child health, the CCHA embodied a growing national concern for high maternal and infant mortality rates. The CCHA belonged to the Welfare Fed. and was supported by the Community Fund. Dr. RICHARD A. BOLT, CCHA director for its entire history, advocated prenatal care and children's need for sunlight, fresh air, and adequate play space.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the CCHA sponsored health hygiene in schools, promoted the importance of nursery schools, attempted to reduce children's accidental deaths, and offered prenatal and mother craft classes in area hospitals. In 1932 Ellen Nicely organized and directed the prenatal program, which claimed early success: in 1934, Cleveland had the lowest infant mortality rate among major American cities and other locales modeled prenatal programs after the CCHA. The Cleveland Child Health Assn. disbanded shortly after Dr. Bolt retired in 1945.