The Healthy Start Program is a nationally recognized model of care for infant and maternal health. The Healthy Start Coalition of Pasco, Inc. was incorporated in 1992 and is a non-profit (501© (3)) organization.
The mission of the Healthy Start Coalition of Pasco is to establish, promote, and enhance a maternal and child healthcare system that all women, infants and children up to three years of age have access to prenatal care and other services that promote healthy growth and development.
Florida Statute 383.14 requires that all pregnant women be offered the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screening at their first or consequent prenatal visit and the Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening be offered to parents or guardians of all infants born in Florida before leaving the delivery facility.
Florida Statute requires that all pregnant women in the state of Florida be screened for metabolic disorders, other hereditary and congenital disorders and environmental risk factors. The Healthy Start universal risk screen is used for this purpose. One of the key functions of the Healthy Start Coalitions is to provide education, outreach and technical assistance regarding the Healthy Start risk screening process. The Healthy Start Coalition of Pasco maintains a very close relationship with the county’s prenatal care providers. The Coalition staff visits the Pasco County prenatal care providers and birthing hospitals on a quarterly basis to provide training and technical assistance in providing risk screening services.
The Healthy Start Coalition of Pasco is a partnership of volunteers from all segments of the community who work together to ensure that key services are provided for pregnant women, infants, and their families. The services that the organization provides include care coordination, home visiting services, and outreach to increase access to health care and provide support to pregnant women and children in reducing identified risk factors such as low birth weight.
Through our contract, the Coalition provides funding to a Lead Health Agency in Pasco County (The Florida Department of Health, Healthy Start Program) to provide services such as breastfeeding education and support, childbirth education, smoking cessation, nutritional counseling and other risk appropriate care services to the at risk families in Pasco County.
The Coalition also contracts with other local providers including Hospitals, Mental Health services and other community organizations to provide wrap-around services. It has been found that these efforts to provide a variety of services through an organized system of wrap-around care can improve the health status of women and infants as well as potentially provide financial savings for potentially expensive medical care such as through Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU).