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Dannai Harriel, Perinatal Systems Liaison, Healthy Start, Inc. Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Marlene Kolosky, Perinatal Systems Liaison, Fayette County Healthy.

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Presentation on theme: "Dannai Harriel, Perinatal Systems Liaison, Healthy Start, Inc. Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Marlene Kolosky, Perinatal Systems Liaison, Fayette County Healthy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dannai Harriel, Perinatal Systems Liaison, Healthy Start, Inc. Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Marlene Kolosky, Perinatal Systems Liaison, Fayette County Healthy Star t CityMatCH Conference August 25-28, 2007 Denver, CO

2 Every two minutes, a low birth weight baby is born

3 o African–American babies are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white babies. o African-American babies are nearly five times more likely to die from prematurity than white babies. o Birth defects are the number one cause of death during the first year of life for all babies in the United States.

4 o The Healthy Start program was launched in 1991 by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Public Health Service to demonstrate innovative ways to reduce infant mortality in some of the areas with the highest infant mortality rates in the country. o It is legislatively mandated that Healthy Start grants establish and maintain for the life of the project, a community-based consortium of individuals and organizations.

5 o Healthy Start of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County has been committed from its inception to make this project truly community-driven. o Assessments drawn from community forums and focus groups confirmed, significant improvement in infant mortality rates will require more than a medical model; it will require attitudinal change and commitment on the part of an entire community. o To achieve such commitment to change requires sustained and cooperative involvement of the community in both planning and implementation.

6 To focus primarily on the reduction of infant mortality and low birth weight babies in Southwestern PA in such a way as to make valuable use of its resources, preserve its flexibility and continue to offer seamless services with the intent of improving the quality of life of infants, toddlers, youths, siblings, parents and grandparents and the community.


8 Two major objectives of the Pittsburgh Healthy Start Program include: o Creation of the non-profit Healthy Start, Inc. to implement the project with a Board of Directors that was sensitive to participant needs. o Maximize community involvement through a consortium and other community empowerment strategies.

9 Consortia – A broad-based group of community leaders and consumers active in the planning, implementation process and in mobilizing their respective communities. Board of Directors – Composed of consumers and community leaders from the private and public sectors serve as the primary advisory arm of the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Healthy Start program responsible for ensuring that the systemic, strategic vision of the project is realized throughout all program initiatives

10 o Healthy Start is designed to support the comprehensive, participant–driven approach of the project. o It is systematic and interactive in nature, that is, it provides for the involvement of community representation at all levels of the planning and implementation process.



13 In 2001, Fayette County Healthy Start implemented a three-pronged approach to community involvement: o Healthy Start, Inc. Board of Directors o Fayette Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) o Perinatal Task Force


15 The Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP)- Formed in 1995 to address the health disparities for residents of Fayette. CHIP’s professional membership encompasses all facets of health and human services, hospitals, private/public sectors, therefore developing partnerships on all levels. The Perinatal Task Force-A broad- based group of individuals from the community and local agencies, active in designing and supporting grassroots advocacy initiatives to reduce infant mortality and eliminate health disparities.

16 Pittsburgh/Allegheny County-Urban Fayette County -Rural o Program Participants-25 or 28% o Community-Based Organizations- 24 or 27% o State/Local Government-2 or 2% o Community Participants- 26 or 30% o Private Agencies- 6 or 7% o Other- 5 or 6% o Program Participants-2 or 7% o Community-Based Organizations.- 11-41% o State/Local Government- 2 or 7% o Community Participants-5 19% o Private Agencies.- 3-11% o Other-4- 15%

17 Urban & Rural Roles & Responsibilities o Promote the mission of the Healthy Start Program o Develop a Local Health Systems Action Plan (LHSAP) o Refer eligible families for service o Needs assessments o Evaluate service delivery system o Volunteering and mentoring o Provide training/expertise to staff development

18 o Indigenous hiring o Identify resources to prolong the financial sustainability of the project o Heighten awareness and cultural sensitivity about health disparities and infant mortality

19 In Southwestern PA the Board of Directors along with the Consortia and Perinatal Task Force actively enhance the reduction of infant mortality through a holistic program of individual and neighborhood empowerment that promises to improve the quality of life for residents of all ages.

20 o Healthy Start, as designed and implemented, is a long- term rather than a short-term strategy to reducing infant mortality. o Healthy Start has shown that local communities can, with support, develop and implement innovative approaches to reducing infant mortality

21 For more information about us, call the Healthy Start Helplines at: (412) 247-1000 or (724) 425-1799 or visit our website at: Healthy Start, Inc. is supported in part by project No. CFDA #93.926E from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act)

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