NHSA is firmly committed to serving as a leading voice in support of government policies and programs that serve disadvantaged pregnant women, babies and families. NHSA advocates in support of strengthening community-based services, such as outreach, home visitation, case management, health education, perinatal depression screening, interconception care and other effective approaches to ensure optimal birth outcomes. Whether a Member of Congress, a state legislator or a city council member, it is essential for policy-makers and elected leaders to know that these type of supports and services not only save lives but also save billions of dollars in health care costs
Federal Healthy Start Initiative
NHSA has a special focus on the federal Healthy Start initiative. As the federal government’s signature program focused on reducing infant mortality, Healthy Start is essential in helping our nation’s most disadvantaged children survive infancy and live longer, more productive lives. Healthy Start has shown a track record of saving lives and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has confirmed that Healthy Start funding is “being used directly and effectively to meet the program’s purpose.”
Healthy Start is currently funded at just under $105 million and authorized through 2013. Healthy Start was first established as a pilot program by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. The last reauthorization of the program passed Congress in 2008 and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008. The bi-partisan reauthorization bill was led by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI).
NHSA Congressional Leadership Award
Each year, NHSA selects members of the U.S. Senate and House that have shown active support for community efforts to reduce infant mortality. In 2011, the honorees are:
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
U.S. Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY)
U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC)
U.S. Representative John Yarmuth awarded by attendees from Louisville Healthy Start.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu was awarded by conference attendees from Louisiana Healthy Start projects.