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19th Annual Spring Conference
March 26-28 2018

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20 Years of Federal Healthy Start Celebrated in New Publication

Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative

For Immediate Release
Elizabeth Perry

Washington, DC - Today at a National Press Club briefing, the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) released its newest publication, Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative. The publication tells the story of Healthy Start from its inception in 1991, initiated as a five-year demonstration project with 15 urban and rural projects funded, to its current successes 20 years later with 105 federally-funded Healthy Start projects in 39 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

The National Healthy Start Association was established as a non-profit organization in 1998 to operate as the membership association for the federally-funded Healthy Start projects. NHSA promotes the development of community-based maternal and child health programs, particularly those addressing the issues of infant mortality, low birth weight and racial disparities in perinatal outcomes.

In 2011, the Federal Healthy Start Initiative celebrates 20 years of improving infant mortality rates in the communities served. Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative chronicles the birth of Healthy Start and NHSA and includes profiles and photographs for over 80 of the federally-funded Healthy Start Projects.

"We're very pleased to be able to share the success stories of Healthy Start with the public," said NHSA Executive Director Stacey Cunningham. "Healthy Start has been a positive impact in so many communities across this nation, and we're honored to be able to share their work with the public and members of the maternal and child health community."

At today's briefing, Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator for the Health Resources and Services said, "Healthy Start is our very best weapon to lower infant mortality. Without Healthy Start we would probably look worse than we do now."  


About the National Healthy Start Association

The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) is a nationwide membership association and primarily serves the federally funded Healthy Start Projects in 38 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The mission of NHSA is to be the nation's voice in providing leadership and advocacy for health equity services and interventions that improve birth outcomes and family wellbeing. As part of its mission, NHSA aims to be an effective advocate in policies and programs that improve the health status of women, infants and families and strengthen the capacity of Healthy Start programs and community-based MCH organizations nationwide. For information, visit the NHSA website or contact the national office at 202-296-2195.

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To see event photos, please visit http://www.nationalhealthystart.org/2011_Briefing_Photos.