Healthy Start

Program Description

Maternal and child health is a key indicator of a community’s overall health. When a child is born too small (less than 5.5 pounds) or too early (before 37 weeks), they are at a much higher risk for short and long-term health challenges. Similarly, pregnancy and early infancy can present its own challenges for the birthing parent. This not only impacts the family, but the entire community, in terms of quality of life and healthcare costs. All health insurance payers – private and public – share the cost of caring for premature babies. Recent studies find that the average medical cost of care in the U.S. for a preterm baby are nearly 4x higher than for a healthy full-term baby, $13,000 and $49,000 respectively. An independent study of Healthy Start’s first 14 years (1996-2009) shows that babies born to Healthy Start moms in our priority communities were healthier than babies of moms in the same communities who were not in the program.

The goal of Healthy Start is to reduce maternal and child health disparities and increase access to health care. The Healthy Start Program is provided by a team of bilingual, bicultural Community Health Workers. The program uses the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model to teach pre- and post-natal health education during home-visits in addition to providing health screenings and referrals for conditions like maternal depression and child developmental delays, health insurance and food benefits enrollment assistance, information on reproductive healthcare, family planning, childcare, and overall socio-emotional support for pregnant and parenting people with children ages 0-18 months. Program participants enroll in the program on a voluntary basis and it’s at no cost to the participant thanks to strong community support.


Briana Villagrana

Manager of Healthy Start & Family Benefits

610-344-5370 x 103