Healthy Start includes targeted support services that address identified risks. The range of Healthy Start services available to pregnant women, infants and children up to age three include: Information, referral and ongoing care coordination and support to assure access to needed services, Psychosocial, nutritional and smoking cessation counseling, Childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting support and education, and Home visiting How Healthy Start Works Healthy Start Coalitions are non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the health of pregnant women and babies in a community. The state’s 33 Coalitions are partnerships made up of local public and private medical professionals, hospitals, schools, charities, social services agencies, the United Way, the March of Dimes and individuals. Coalition members will work together to identify and resolve local health problems that affect pregnant women and their families. The Healthy Start Program The cornerstone of all Coalition programs is Healthy Start, which is a comprehensive program promoting optimal prenatal health and developmental outcomes for all pregnant women and babies in Florida. The fundamental goals of the Healthy Start Program are to reduce infant mortality, reduce the number of low birth weight babies and improve health and developmental outcomes. Each Coalition’s Board allocates funding to local agencies to provide Healthy Start services, which include: Care Coordination and Outreach Breastfeeding and Childbirth education Parenting education and support Smoking Cessation Assistance Nutritional services and counseling Psychosocial counseling Home Visits Many other services to address individual identified risks Healthy Start Coalitions will also seek grants to help address relating issues. Please visit your local Healthy Start Coalition website to find out more on Healthy Start Services. What is Healthy Start Screening? Every doctor in the state of Florida is required to...Read More
MomCare includes outreach services for all women presumptively eligible and enrolled in Medicaid under the Sixth Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (SOBRA). Women enrolled in SOBRA Medicaid, who are not enrolled in a managed care plan, are automatically enrolled into MomCare. MomCare offers initial outreach to facilitate contact with choice counseling for enrollment in a managed care plan for access to a qualified prenatal care provider for early and continuous health care. MomCare also provides information regarding WIC, Healthy Start prenatal risk screening, community referrals, importance of early prenatal...Read More
The federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is being implemented in Florida through a public-private partnership. Led by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Inc. the goal of the initiative is to improve health and developmental outcomes for at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs. Florida MIECHV funds proven programs that leverage established community resources and work with families who seek help in a trusted environment — their homes. Because families ask for help, they are committed, want to do better and work hard to be better parents. Eleven projects are implementing three models in 14 high-need communities across Florida aimed at equipping parents and other caregivers with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to assist their children in being healthy, safe, and ready to succeed in school. These models were selected by the communities based on local needs, gaps in services and resources. Florida MIECHV is also building capacity that supports all early childhood prevention services through professional development, and fostering program accountability and a culture of continuous quality improvement. The federal program was established in Section 2951 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) amending Title V of the Social Security Act. The FL MIECHV program is funded by a grant from the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services (HRSA #D90MC25705). To learn more about FLMIECHV, visit...Read More
With CMMS funding, prenatal provider sites in three counties are providing enhanced prenatal care to high risk Medicaid recipients. At these sites, a Maternal Health Specialist is embedded within the prenatal practice to provide education, support and health promotion. The goals are to reduce preterm births, improve health outcomes for pregnant women and newborns, improve quality and decrease medical costs....Read More
Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait is a new public education and awareness campaign funded by the March of Dimes to raise awareness about the important development that occurs during the last few weeks of pregnancy. The aim of the campaign is to encourage women to allow labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy and dispel the myth that it’s safe to schedule a delivery before 39 weeks of pregnancy without a medical need. The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Inc. (FAHSC) is implementing the “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign in Florida with funding from the March of Dimes to increase the understanding of the importance of the last weeks of pregnancy and the contribution of this period to healthy fetal development and reduced health complication for mothers and babies. FAHSC is dedicated to strengthening maternal and child health and ensuring access to a continuum of affordable and quality health-related services so that every baby gets the best possible start in life. Developed in 1991 in response to Florida’s high infant mortality rate by Governor Lawton Chiles, FAHSC is a statewide network of 32 community-based organizations working to reduce Florida’s infant mortality rate and improve the lives of pregnant women and their families. The 32 Coalitions are non-profit organizations with vast networks of public and private partnerships including medical professionals, hospitals, schools, charities, social service agencies and other organizations such as the March of Dimes and the United Way. Healthy Start provides a range of services, including care coordination and outreach, breastfeeding and childbirth education, parenting education and support, smoking cessation assistance, nutritional services and counseling, psychosocial counseling, home visits and many...Read More
The National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review began in 1990 as a collaborative effort between the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Since it was first introduced in the late 1980’s, Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) has been a dynamic, community process. FIMR has enjoyed continued growth and refinement as more communities have used it. Today, there are over two hundred FIMR programs. Different types of agencies sponsor the FIMR program including city and county health departments, local hospitals, regional perinatal centers and community based maternal and child health coalitions. Florida adopted the FIMR model in 1992. Many of the state’s Healthy Start Coalitions have been contracted by the State of Florida to implement FIMR locally. There are twelve FIMR projects statewide organized under Florida Statutes 766.101 and funded by the State of Florida. FIMR is: A strategy to close the gap in health disparities at the community level A timely and valuable source of information about changing health care systems and how they affect real families trying to access them A form of continuous quality improvement that allows communities to assess the performance of systems and the impact of changes in those systems A voice for local families who have lost their baby A tool that helps local health officials implement policies to safeguard families A program endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Projects are countywide efforts to better understand the issues associated with fetal and infant mortality and morbidity and to develop strategies that...Read More
Show Your Love. Your Baby will thank you for it. www.cdc.gov/showyourlove Show Your Love is a national campaign designed to improve the health of women and babies by promoting preconception health and healthcare. Preconception health is the health of a woman during her childbearing years before and between pregnancies. Because 49 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are not planned, it is extremely important for women to improve their health before pregnancy to be healthier mothers and have healthier babies Click here to view or download the final review and summary of the Show Your Love...Read More
We work collectively to improve outcomes for mothers, babies and families in the state of Florida. The Healthy Start Program was enacted into legislation in 1991. There are 31 Coalitions in Florida. Click here to find the Coalition nearest you.
We work in our communities to implement Healthy Start services and activities such as home visiting, care coordination, breastfeeding support, parenting healthcare navigation and prenatal care. Each coalition uses data and research to design a service delivery plan unique to their community.