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January Changemaker, Baltimore Healthy Start

At Full Sail Media, we’ve dedicated each month to profiling an organization driven to make a tangible difference.

We’re starting this effort with our dear friends at Baltimore Healthy Start, an organization emblematic of hope, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of Baltimore’s families.

Working in areas grappling with high infant mortality rates and adverse perinatal outcomes, Baltimore Healthy Start stands as a testament to what can be achieved with dedication, compassion, and community-focused initiatives. Their story is a narrative of empowerment, overcoming obstacles, and building a stronger, healthier future for the generations to come.

For over three decades, Baltimore Healthy Start have dedicated themselves to improving the health and well-being of Baltimore’s families. Through direct services to pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and fathers in disadvantaged communities, they tirelessly work to reduce perinatal health disparities. Their efforts are particularly crucial in areas where poverty is rampant and educational attainment is low. Many families face the heart-wrenching choice between basic necessities like rent and diapers. Baltimore Healthy Start steps in to alleviate these burdens, offering comprehensive support that spans from preconception to a child’s early years.

How Baltimore Healthy Start Got Started

Baltimore Healthy Start was born out of necessity in 1991, initiated by the Baltimore City Health Department. It was established as a response to the urgent need to reduce infant mortality under the federal Healthy Start initiative.

As a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation, it has since evolved into a community cornerstone, promoting health and wellness and providing crucial resources to new and expecting mothers.

How Baltimore Healthy Start Impacts the Community

Baltimore Healthy Start’s array of programs is meticulously designed to cater to the diverse needs of families in Baltimore. These programs are grouped into three main categories: Home Visiting Programs, Pregnancy & Wellness Programs, and Healthy Families Programs. Each category is uniquely structured to offer targeted support and resources.

1. Home Visiting Programs
Home visiting programs provide crucial in-home support to pregnant women and new mothers, focusing on improving infant health from pregnancy through early childhood.
Enrollment into these programs begins with recruitment, facilitated in two ways:
● Health Care Access Maryland – This organization triages eligible women into the appropriate home visiting program across Baltimore City.
● Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. Recruiters – These individuals enroll pregnant and postpartum women with children less than six months old who reside in targeted communities.The Healthy Start Program, a central aspect of this category, is a federally mandated initiative aimed at reducing infant mortality and enhancing perinatal outcomes. Families are enrolled until the newborn reaches 18 months of age.

2. Pregnancy & Wellness Programs
This category encompasses a range of programs focused on family planning, reproductive health, and overall wellness, including:
● Family Planning – Offering guidance and resources for planned parenting.
● Reproductive Life Plan – Tailoring family planning to individual needs and goals.
● Belly Buddies – Fostering a support network for pregnant women.
● Sister Circle – Creating a community of support among women.
● Health Screening – Regular check-ups to ensure the well-being of mothers and infants.

3. Healthy Families Programs
The Healthy Families Programs cater to the broader needs of families, including early childhood development and parental support:
● Early Childhood Development Program – Focusing on the growth and development of young children.
● Leaping for Literacy – Enhancing literacy skills among children and parents.
● Parent Leadership Group – Empowering parents to take an active role in community leadership.
● Milk Mates – Supporting breastfeeding mothers.
● GED Classes – Providing educational opportunities for parents.
● Circle of Security Parenting – Strengthening parent-child relationships.
● Fatherhood Groups – Involving fathers actively in parenting.
● Teen Group – Tailored support for teenage parents.
● Dyad Care – Focusing on the mother-child bond.
● Food Pantry – Addressing food insecurity among families.
● BHS Store – Offering necessary supplies for families in need.
● Housing University – Providing resources and education for stable housing.

Each of these programs, under the Baltimore Healthy Start umbrella, plays a vital role in nurturing and supporting families, ensuring a healthy start for the youngest members of our community.
How You Can Support Baltimore Healthy Start.

Join us in supporting Baltimore Healthy Start. Your involvement can make a significant difference in the lives of many families. Whether it’s through donations, becoming a part of their Community Action Network, joining their team, or simply spreading the word, every little bit helps in creating a healthier, happier Baltimore.

Together, let’s ensure that every child in our community has the chance to thrive.
At Full Sail Media, we are honored to partner with Baltimore Healthy Start and highlight their invaluable work. We believe in the power of community and the incredible impact of dedicated organizations like Baltimore Healthy Start.

To learn more about Baltimore Healthy Start and how you can get involved, visit: https://baltimorehealthystart.org/