Monday, September 14, 2009

Richmond Healthy Start Initiative Awarded $4.5 Million Over 5 Years

The Richmond Healthy Start Initiative has been notified that they will receive $4.5 million over the next five years through the Healthy Start program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is dedicated to ensuring that low-income and disadvantaged pregnant women receive the health care they need. Services include outreach, home visitation, case management, health education, perinatal depression screening, interconceptional care and other effective approaches to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth.

U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott stated, “Healthy Start is exactly the type of community-based prevention program that will save lives and also millions of dollars in healthcare costs down the road.”

“I am thankful that the Richmond Healthy Start Initiative has been selected to receive this funding,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Congressman Scott has been a true champion for our program and I thank him for his efforts in ensuring we receive this funding.”

Richmond’s Healthy Start program is located in the city’s Department of Social Services. Project director of the Richmond Healthy Start Initiative Rose Stith-Singleton said, “This funding will allow Healthy Start to continue providing community-based services to improve the health of mothers and babies.”

The Richmond Healthy Start Initiative is one of 100 Healthy Start sites across the country specifically focused on reducing infant mortality, reducing the incidences of low birth weight babies and eliminating racial disparities in perinatal outcomes. An area is eligible for Healthy Start if it has an infant mortality rate 1.5 times the national average.

The federal Healthy Start Initiative receives $100 million in funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Health Resources and Services Administration. Established in 1991, Healthy Start is comprised of approximately 100 community-based programs that respond to the medical, social, cultural and social service needs of women and their infants. Richmond’s Healthy Start Project is a member of the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA). The NHSA supports the expansion of efforts that are rooted in the community and actively involve community members in their design and implementation. For information, visit www.healthystartassoc.org, or contact the NHSA at (202) 296-2195.

Contact: Rose Stith-Singleton, (804) 205-3684