Baltimore— Clarisse and Morris A. Mechanic Foundation recently granted Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. $10,000 to continue its efforts to improve birth outcomes in fragile communities across the city. Healthy Start staff works against overwhelming odds to provide comprehensive, supportive services to pregnant and postpartum women, their babies, and families right in the communities where they live.
The organization conducts door-to-door /street-to-street outreach to find and enroll clients. Then integrating the use of a collection of evidence-based programs and tools, Healthy Start offers intensive case management, home-visiting, medical care coordination, health education, early childhood services, and emergency needs assistance– all designed to improve family functioning, parenting, infant well-being, and self-sufficiency.
Each year in the United States, nearly 30,000 infants die before their first birthday. Many of these babies were born with birth weights of less than 3.3 pounds. “Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. is a non-profit organization that works successfully to reduce deaths among these tiny infants and has done so for the last 21 years,” said Tina Boyle, president of the Mechanic Foundation Board. The Mechanic Foundation has generously supported Healthy Start in the past with substantial gifts to help the organization work toward reducing the significant disparity in infant mortality, prematurity and low birth weight babies among African American women.
Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. was founded in 1991 and is part of a network of 105 federally funded projects operating in 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The network as a whole serves over 39,000 very poor women annually in urban, rural, tribal, and border communities and collectively the network has better birth outcomes for its clients then the rest of the nation.