Healthy Start Inc. supports women, children, fathers, families and communities through comprehensive community-based programming, systems coordination, advocacy, research and training. Our programming spans Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties.
We are part of a network of more than 100 community-based Healthy Start projects across the United States. Our goal is to make sure all families have access to affordable, quality care to improve maternal and child health outcomes and quality of life.
We use a multidisciplinary team model which is inclusive of Community Health Workers, Certified Lactation Consultants and Counselors, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators, Certified Doulas, nurses, licensed mental health clinicians, researchers, Community Health Advocates and other public health practitioners who touch the entire community—galvanized in support of a vision where communities are devoid of health disparities and all babies have the opportunity to thrive.
We are a designated Best Babies Zone organization, and in collaboration with the Allegheny County Health Department Maternal Child Health Program, a participant in the CityMatCH Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes (also known as the Equity Institute).
We work with local residents, medical providers, social service agencies, businesses and faith-based organizations to reduce the infant mortality rate (IMR) and the number of low birth weight babies born in Allegheny County each year.
Launched in 1991
The national Healthy Start program was launched in 1991 by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a branch of the United States Public Health Service.
Medical care providers didn’t know why specific areas of the country were dealing with an increase in infant mortality and low birth weight babies. However, they did find that low-income white and minority women are at the highest risk.
Demonstration Phase 1991-1996
The Allegheny County Healthy Start project was one of only 15 national sites originally included in the 1991-1996 demonstration phase of the program.
Healthy Start currently serves 104 projects in 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through the creation and implementation of truly innovative programs, Healthy Start has seen a steady decrease in infant mortality and low birth weights.