Promote Quality

Healthy Start works to ensure access to and delivery of high quality health and social services to women, infants and families by providing case management and care coordination to participants, and supporting systems integration on the community level.  Healthy Start programs utilize evidence-based curricula and interventions to provide health education and health promotion in the required areas of breastfeeding, immunization, safe sleep, family planning and tobacco cessation, well-woman and well-child care.

Consult the data dictionary for exact definitions and measurement of each benchmark.

 

Benchmark: Birth Spacing

Reduce the proportion of Healthy Start women participants who conceive within 18 months of a previous birth to 30%.

Pregnancies should be spaced at least 18 months apart to reduce health risks for both mother and baby. Increased risks for babies conceived within 18 months of giving birth include preterm birth, low birth weight, and small size for gestational age. Additionally, in order to achieve optimal health before another pregnancy, the mother needs time to fully recover from the previous birth.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

 

Benchmark: Initiating Breastfeeding

Increase proportion of Healthy Start child participants whose parent/caregiver reports they were ever breastfed or pumped breast milk to feed their baby to 82%.

Breast milk contains vitamins and nutrients babies need for good health and protection from disease. Research shows that any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial for the baby and that the skin-to-skin contact of breastfeeding has physical and emotional benefits. Prenatal counseling and education of pregnant women can correct misperceptions about breastfeeding and encourage more of them to breast feed.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

 

Benchmark: Safe Sleep

Increase proportion of Healthy Start women participants who engage in safe sleep practices to 80%.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies be placed on their backs for every sleep time because this practice has been shown to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Additional safe sleep strategies that can decrease the risk of infant death by asphyxia/suffocation include use of a firm sleep surface free of soft objects or loose bedding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, and sleeping in a smoke-free environment.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

Resources

Evidence-Based Practice

Baby Basics

Online Training

N/A
 

Benchmark: Smoking Abstinence

Increase the proportion of pregnant Healthy Start participants that abstain from cigarette smoking to 90%.

Research shows that smoking in pregnancy is directly linked to poor outcomes including preterm birth, low birthweight infants, certain birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and premature separation of the placenta from the uterus. Women who smoke may also have a harder time getting pregnant and an increased risk of miscarriage. All of these risks can be reduced if a woman quits smoking before or even during pregnancy.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

 

Benchmark: Sustaining Breastfeeding

Increase proportion of Healthy Start child participants whose parent/caregiver reports they were breastfed or fed breast milk at 6 months to 61%.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months because breastfeeding is good for both the baby’s and the mother’s health. Benefits for the baby include decreased diarrheal illness, gastroenteritis, and respiratory tract infections, fewer allergies, and reduced risk of obesity and diabetes. Benefits for the mother include decreased obesity and Type II diabetes, reduced risk of breast cancer, and decreased postpartum depression.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.

 

Benchmark: Well Child Visits

Increase proportion of Healthy Start child participants who receive the last age-appropriate recommended well child visit based on AAP schedule to 90%.

The American Academy of pediatrics recommends regular well-child visits to assess if the child is meeting developmental milestones on hearing, vision, nutrition, safety, sleep, diseases, and growth. These visits also provide an opportunity for additional age- and developmentally-appropriate preventive services such as immunizations and anticipatory guidance.

A Change Package is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.