Healthy Start provides support to at-risk women and children in Allegheny County through free health education programs and services in their communities.
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 decrease the number of infants that don’t live to see their first birthdays.
Healthy Start is unique because our community-based programs and services extend beyond the care of newborns to include mothers, fathers and families—touching the entire community. 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.