The Healthy Start Program was created in 1991 by Governor Lawton Chiles on the premise every child deserved a healthy start in life. He and his wife challenged local leaders to establish local coalitions to provide quality prenatal care for all women.
Healthy Start of Jefferson, Madison and Taylor Counties was created in 1993 to serve a predominantly rural, tri-county population. The primary focus of the Coalition is to insure the heath and well being of pregnant women and their babies and to reduce infant mortality.
The Coalition has partnered with over 30 community agencies to identity and provide support for a variety of community based needs that ultimately effect the lives of pregnant women and their children. Healthy Start services include a variety support services that help produce positive birth outcomes. Services include care coordination, home visits, smoking cessation, car seat classes, breastfeeding education and support, parenting education, nutritional education, childbirth education and psychosocial counseling.
The Coalition contracts with the County Health Departments in each county to provide these services, the Health Departments are also the primary providers of prenatal care. The Coalition is also pleased to be a part of implementing group prenatal programs in all three counties and Women’s Health initiatives in all three counties.