Healthy Start Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (HS CoIIN)

The Healthy Start CoIIN is a partnership of Healthy Start grantees dedicated to strengthening Healthy Start services and systems, in order to advance program goals to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes. The HS CoIIN functions as an Expert Panel to the Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS) and the HS EPIC Center, the training and technical assistance provider for the program.

The following document, developed by the HS CoIIN, is a a response to the Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services request to inform future programming:

Lessons Learned From the Field: A Response to the Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services Request To Inform Future Programming

HS CoIIN Goal and Objectives


The HS CoIIN seeks to promote the implementation of standardized evidence-based and field-tested approaches to essential HS components such as risk assessment, case management, and participant engagement. The goal of the HS CoIIN is to strengthen Healthy Start (HS) services and systems, by promoting the implementation of standardized evidence-based approaches to core elements of the HS program. (Program level improvement and innovation). The specific objectives of the HS CoIIN are to:

Promote communication among/between grantees, DHSPS and HS EPIC Center to ensure all grantees have a voice in setting the direction for HS

Brainstorm and test opportunities to strengthen the program especially related to standardizing components of the HS model

Disseminate lessons learned to the HS community

Promote HS as an effective and vital community-based resource in all communities to ensure the long-term success of HS.

Coiin_membersCollaborative Learning from HS Grantees to the HS CoIIN and Back


The HS CoIIN will articulate best practices and quality improvement guidance supported by science and rooted in grantee experience serving HS participants. HS grantees across the country will share implementation successes and challenges with each other and with the HS CoIIN. The CoIIN in turn will distill and integrate these findings to make recommendations for standards of practice for all Healthy Start programs.

Relationship of the HS CoIIN to the Home Visiting CoIIN (HV CoIIN) and Infant Mortality CoIIN (IM CoIIN)


HS CoIIN: Works at the program level to improve delivery of Healthy Start services to include identifying opportunities for standardizing the participant experience.

IM CoIIN: Works at the policy level through state level learning collaborative with participation of diverse partners.

HV CoIIN: Works at the program level to achieve breakthrough improvements in select measures, including benchmarks mandated for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

For further information about the differences between each group, refer to this chart or watch this archived webinar.

Operating Structure of the HS CoIIN


The HS CoIIN meets monthly, including in-person sessions twice a year, with conference calls in the interim. Two CoIIN members serve as Co-Chairs, for rotating six-month terms.  You can download the membership list. Contact information The HS EPIC Center provides logistical and technical support.

Twenty HS CoIIN members

    • Membership is a requirement for Level 3 Grantees

Leadership, planning, and monthly meeting facilitation provided by co-chairs serving 6 month terms  

    • March – August 2015: Debby Allen and Ricky Green
    • September 2015 – March 2016: Gwen Daniels and Sara Kinsman
    • April – September 2016: Lo Berry and Rise Ratney
    • October  2016-March 2017: Kori Eberle and Andrea Kimple
    • April -September 2017: Maria Lourdes-Reyes and Mary Alexander

Overarching Framework for HS CoIIN’s Work: Standardization


Recognizing the importance of articulating a conceptual framework and science base for the long-term sustainability of the Healthy Start program, HS CoIIN members expressed a majority interest in focusing HS CoIIN efforts on identifying opportunities for standardizing elements of the program.

However, in keeping with Healthy Start’s commitment to addressing the unique needs of participants and communities, certain service delivery interventions can be standardized but not all. Standardization should focus on a comprehensive process for identifying participant needs rather than standardizing interventions that all participants must receive.

What does standardization mean?

Standardization provides a consistent, predictable, and replicable experience for Healthy Start participants designed to achieve positive health outcomes.

Building a Stronger Healthy Start through Standardization

A purple circle with the text: Identify components of the Healthy Start program for standardizing across the HS Community. Followed by a right arrow leading to a circle saying: Promote implementation of the standardized component across the HS community.

Initial Healthy Start CoIIN Standardization Priorities

  1. Screening tools and processes
    • Ensure comprehensive and consistent assessment of participants’ needs
  2. Data collection and integration with 3Ps
      • Standardize data collection (including benchmarks) and reporting to support monitoring and evaluation
  3. Care coordination and case management
    • Define components and best practices of care coordination and case management

See HS CoIIN Progress Summary for the status of the first two priorities.