First Year Cleveland welcomes new executive director

Angela Newman-White standing headshot

Angela Newman-White unanimously selected to lead collaborative, aimed at preventing infant mortality, following national search

The steering committee of First Year Cleveland announced it has voted unanimously to appoint Angela Newman-White as executive director, effective Jan. 9. First Year Cleveland (FYC) is a public-private partnership aimed at reducing infant mortality and eliminating racial inequities in infant health outcomes.

“With almost two decades working in maternal and infant health, and with an intimate knowledge of the local landscape, Mrs. Newman-White has the rare combination of skills and passion to take First Year Cleveland to the next stage of impact,” said India Pierce Lee, senior vice president at the Cleveland Foundation and co-chair of First Year Cleveland. “She has built an impressive career elevating the voices of community residents at every opportunity.”

Newman-White was a key partner in launching FYC in 2015, serving as part of the 19-member design team that helped reshape FYC’s strategic priorities and ultimately led to shifting the initiative from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. 

“I’m proud to take the helm of First Year Cleveland at this critical juncture,” said Newman-White. “Now is the time to empower those impacted by infant mortality, close racial gaps in health outcomes, and ensure that every family—regardless of race, finances, or neighborhood—has real opportunities for optimal health and well-being.”

Newman-White began her public health career as a case manager for the Cleveland Department of Health’s MomsFirst program, a First Year Cleveland grantee-partner, more than 18 years ago. From 2005 to 2011, Newman-White served as program administrator and deputy director of MomsFirst before joining the Cuyahoga County Board of Health as a grant supervisor. Under her leadership, the Maternal and Child Health department grew from two programs to nine.

In 2015, Newman-White helped launch One Life, One Voice, One Community, a conference dedicated to connecting families to information and resources to prevent infant mortality. She is a member of the board of directors for CityMatCH, a national organization of maternal and child health programs and leaders. 

“Mrs. Newman-White has the experience, foresight and vision that, when combined with this impressive multi-sectoral coalition, will advance First Year Cleveland’s mission well into the future,” said Dexter Voisin, dean of the Mandel School. “She has a track record of building capacity among community partners and centering the experiences of Black women and families.”

Newman-White holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in sociology from Cleveland State University. She lives in Twinsburg with her husband and son.

To learn more, visit and watch the trailer for Toxic: A Black Woman's Story which explores how racism, toxic stress and birth outcomes are intertwined.

Move to the Mandel School

First Year Cleveland transitioned to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in July 2022. FYC was previously a part of CWRU’s School of Medicine, and the move to the Mandel School will allow the organization to shift into a more community-centric approach. This approach will center on the social determinants of health and addressing structural racism.

While FYC’s work alongside community partners is critical to reducing infant mortality, there is additional heavy lifting required to address the toxic stress and realities for women at high risk of experiencing negative birth outcomes. One of FYC’s primary responsibilities is to advocate for policy and system changes that improve the conditions that harm women and families and put them at risk for experiencing infant loss. FYC will soon reconvene its policy and advocacy committee to identify priorities and develop partnerships to drive broad-scale change.

Learn more about the transition to the Mandel School.

About First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland's vision is that every baby born in Cuyahoga County will celebrate their first birthday. FYC fulfills its mission and vision by creating a common understanding of our county’s infant mortality problem and leading the development and coordination of strategies to address it.  

FYC is a public-private partnership aimed at reducing infant mortality, eliminating racial inequities in infant health outcomes by combating systemic racism in Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland. 

The partnership is rooted in a commitment to racial equity; recognizes the challenges that result from systemic racism; and views racism as a public health crisis. FYC is an affiliate of Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. The Mandel School advances leadership in social work and nonprofit education, scholarship and service to build a more just world. The school’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners comprise a national network of scholars and practitioners who shape the course of nonprofit practice and research to drive societal change. 

FYC is a dynamic organization that mobilizes the Greater Cleveland community. It is dedicated to identifying and maximizing funding and strategies to support the organizations that provide services to women and infants who are at high risk for infant mortality. The geographic region FYC covers is primarily an urban setting and one of the most diverse and impoverished areas in the state of Ohio. 

Learn more about First Year Cleveland.

Read more about Newman-White's appointment in the news: