Baltimore Healthy Start Featured in HRSA’s 20 Year Celebration
May, 2012 - At the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) recent Healthy Start 20 year celebration, Baltimore Healthy Start’s Chief of Clinical Affairs and Quality, Maxine Reed Vance, was part of a webinar featuring a panel of five (5) original Healthy Start sites. Each site provided a review of the development of their project over the course of the 20 years. Our Maxine was both inspirational and informative, speaking passionately about how Baltimore fought through fluctuations in funding to create a model of care embraced by staff, clients, and the communities served. Read below a brief excerpt from her presentation:
“If you picked up the Baltimore Sun Paper August 14, 1991, you would have seen this headline- BALTIMORE RANKS 3RD IN NATION FOR INFANT DEATHS, DRUG ABUSE, POVERTY, TEEN PREGNANCY… and in steps Healthy Start - in the middle of such dire headlines - into the neighborhood of Sandtown/Winchester whose infant mortality rate was 22.9 per 1000 live births. Healthy Start began its work!! Neighborhood Recruiters, Interviewers and Entitlement Specialists, Outreach Workers, Case Managers, Nurses, Social Workers, Men Services, Addiction Specialists, Programmers, Data Entry Clerks--a virtual SWAT team armed and dangerous-- took to the streets…
When you think of Baltimore- you probably think of blue crabs and the inner harbor. But I see boarded up houses- hundreds of them, pregnant women and children in shelters, a Black infant mortality rate in 2009 that was 6 times that of the white population. But in the Baltimore Healthy Start’s corner of Baltimore City babies are born at a healthy weight and because of a dedicated Early Childhood Development Program entering school ready to learn…
My heart aches that it is not every child born and I think of giving up but I remember how wonderful it is to have witnessed a generation of children from 1993 come back to a Healthy Start Reunion having survived their first birthday and gone on to celebrate many more...”
What's New at Healthy Start
On May 18, 2010, Healthy Start's Reading for Lunch Brunch program was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Barbara Bush Foundation for family Literacy. Reading for lunch bunch was among 10 family literacy programs across Maryland awarded funding through the foundation's Maryland Family Literacy Initiative. This program provides time for families to read and learn together, and enjoy a nutritious lunch. Families who participate also receive books to grow their home libraries. Reading for Lunch Bunch also provides parenting education, with the goal of helping young parents create and maintain a literacy-rich home environment. Healthy Start was recognized as a 2010 Maryland Family Literacy Initiative grantee at the Foundation's 7th annual Maryland Celebration of Reading, held at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.