Funded by a federal grant from the Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition, in parternship with Nurses for Newborns, the group provides comprehensive case management to at least 100 families in zip codes 63113, 63120, and 63136. They provide home visits, comprehensive prenatal and postpartum health education, referrals to community services, and assistance with many things that moms and families need to ensure a healthier outcome. Once a pregnant mom enrolls, assistance is provided until the child is 2 years old.
Healthy Start is a national program. In St. Louis, they work with low-income moms-to-be in targeted zip codes, and link them with community partners in north St. Louis and north St. Louis County. The program is community driven, and tailored to meet the needs of each and every client. The goal is to reduce infant death rate.
The Healthy Start Project focuses on getting women into prenatal care early in the pregnancy and promotes positive prenatal health. Early entrance into prenatal care is the single most critical factor in improving birth outcomes. Participants also receive basic needs such as nutrition, housing, psychosocial support, and are put in touch with other needed services.
A unique part of the Healthy Start Project is the mentoring provided by women in the community who serve as outreach workers and home visitors, some of them former clients of the Healthy Start Project. This approach works because women respond better to women who have “walked in their shoes.”
Case management is done before and after the birth of the baby. Nurses for Newborns staff make home visits to women and their families and tailor the visit schedule according to the needs of each family. Services include depression screenings and referrals for participants, health education, nutrition counseling, help with housing and other support. The Healthy Start staff ensure that infants receive immunizations and other care, and that the mother is receiving regular preventive primary care.
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