The Healthy Start Program, created in 1991, is a federal initiative aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes for women and children. Over the past 25 years, the program has grown from a small demonstration project to a national program serving 100 grantees in nearly 37 states and Washington, DC. Administered by the Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS) within the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the program was transformed in 2014 to emphasize standardized approaches to improving maternal health outcomes and reducing disparities in perinatal outcomes in the United States. In particular, the newly-focused Healthy Start program applies evidence-based practices, community collaboration, organizational performance monitoring, and quality improvement to service delivery for high-risk pregnant women, infants, and children up to the age of two.
In order to understand the implementation and overall impact of the newly-transformed Healthy Start program and its components, MCHB is undertaking a national evaluation of the program’s implementation, participant utilization of Healthy Start services, and outcomes. The goal of the national evaluation is to determine the effect of the program on changes in participant-level characteristics. This goal is driven by the needs of the primary Healthy Start stakeholders, which include MCHB/HRSA, Healthy Start grantees, participants, partners, and experts in maternal and child health.
In order to better serve the needs of all grantees, we encourage you to fully participate in all webinars that are offered on the relevant topics, and to review the FAQs and other pertinent documents shared directly via email or posted at the EPIC Center website. We also ask that you share this information, as appropriate, with all staff involved in any element of the implementation process. If your question is still not answered, please send an email to the appropriate point of contact below, as well as copy your Project Officer.
- Screening Tools Utilization: Contact EPIC Helpline at 1-844-225-3713 or EPIC email at email@example.com
- Healthy Start client-level and aggregate-level data questions: Contact the Healthy Start Data Mailbox at HealthyStartData@hrsa.gov .
- HSMED system implementation and XML Schema and Upload Functionality: HSMED Help Desk at 1-844-840-5650, email:HSSupport@DSFederal.com
- EPIC Online Screening Tool: Contact EPIC Helpline at 1-844-225-3713 or EPIC email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- National Healthy Start Evaluation: Contact Robert Windom at email@example.com
- Data Sharing/Use Agreement (DSA/DUA) e.g., signing data sharing agreements and status of agreements, TA needed, etc.: HealthyStartEval@abtassoc.com
On this page OER has provided the following materials relevant to the national evaluation.
CDC IRB Approved Participant Informed Consent -Vital Records Linkage
Contact Script (please note the informed consent forms now include the IRB No., PI Version Date, and Protocol number)
XML Schema and Implementation Guides
Beginning in January 2017 Healthy Start program grantees are expected to submit data based on the screening tools as a condition of their grant awards. Data will be submitted monthly through the Healthy Start Monitoring and Evaluation Data System (HSMED).
These documents are intended for Healthy Start technical and/or administrative staff that must collect and report Healthy Start client-level data elements in an XML file format to the HRSA/MCHB. Such staff may include developers, data quality specialists, administrators, or other individuals who are responsible for generating and submitting the monthly report.
To submit the screening tool data successfully, each grantee must collect data from women that they served during the reporting month and create and upload the Extensible Markup Language (XML) files containing client-level data to the HSMED Web application. The structure, sequence, values, and format of the data elements in the XML files must conform to the definitions specified in this document. Once the client-level data XML file is uploaded, HSMED validates the file for conformance to the data schema and business rules outlined in the Data Dictionary and XML Schema Implementation Guide.
XML Schema Files (March 2017) is a zip file that contains the HSMED Healthy Start client-level data XML schema and related files. You will need to “unzip” the file using these instruction for Windows/PC or Mac.
The HSMED changelog (March 2017) provides version control and a quick reference of changes made to the XML schema and/or implementation guides.
HSMED also provides a Data Dictionary and XML Schema Implementation Guide for each screening tool. These were last updated in March 2017