Healthy Start is a voluntary statewide prevention program available to all pregnant women and infants in the State of Florida. The intent of Healthy Start is to ensure that all pregnant women and infants in Florida have access to prenatal and infant health care and other services necessary to reduce the risk of low birth weight, premature birth, fetal and infant mortality.
The Healthy Start Coalition of Jefferson, Madison and Taylor Counties contracts with Madison C ounty Health Department to provide care coordination services to Healthy Start clients in Madison County. A family support worker and a social worker provide care coordination.
The Healthy Start Coordinators work closely with the clients, families, medical providers and community agencies such as WIC, school health, Refuge House, Florida Department of Children and Families and other social service agencies to develop a comprehensive plan to meet identified needs.
One of the underlying principles of the Healthy Start Program statewide is community involvement and collaboration. During the past year Madison County Healthy Start has actively participated in the Domestic Violence Task Force, Traffic Safety Committee, Panhandle Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Committee and has initiated a teen pregnancy prevention program in the local public schools.
Grant funds from the Department of Children and Families were obtained to initiate the Safe Asleep program which is designed to educate the community about the importance of putting babies to sleep on their backs, the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome, stress management techniques, child abuse and family violence prevention.
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