Communications is a key part of the day-to-day operations and the long-term sustainability of Health Start programs. On this page, the HS EPIC Center provides tools and ready-made templates to help you reach your communications goals. These resources are in the public domain and you can modify them to meet your needs.
The Healthy Start Recruitment & Retention Toolkit authored by Dr. Kimberly Leslie-Patton is designed to provide Healthy Start program directors, managers, outreach and case management/care coordination staff with a framework, tips and tools for developing a comprehensive and effective approach to recruitment and retention. The Toolkit will help programs to:
- Assess the cultural competence of the team for recruiting and retaining participants
- Develop an outreach plan to achieve enrollment goals
- Develop a retention plan/strategy
- Utilize the principles of Continuous Quality Improvement to strengthen and sustain recruitment and retention efforts
This Toolkit includes tips and tools that can be customized to fit your program’s unique recruitment needs and address outreach challenges. The tools can also enhance staff focus by providing the opportunity to self-reflect on what is working well and what needs to be modified to achieve outreach, recruitment and retention goals.
Download the full toolkit here!
Pre-Work Tools include tools that focus on assessment activities to gain a better understanding of staff needs and assets. These tools provide perspective on your Healthy Start program and how it fits within your community’s system of care, services and support.
- Taking a Pulse: Assessing Your Program’s Cultural and Linguistic Competence (download template)
- Painting a Portrait: SWOT Analysis (download template)
- Measuring Your Baseline: Enrollment Metrics (download template)
Recruitment Tools include planning tools that map out strategies for building relationships with community agencies, providers and organizations with which you plan to partner to best meet the needs of program participants, and who will be able to refer potential participants to your Healthy Start program. Educating community partners and potential participants with the most effective, tailored messaging will enhance efforts to reach the women, children, and families most in need of support.
- Find Your Starting Line: Working with Partners to Build a Referral Network (download template)
- Mapping Your Communication Roads: Engagement & Dissemination Planning (download template)
- Documenting Your Roadmap to Success: Creating Your Outreach Plan (download template)
- Making Your Pitch: Creating an Effective Elevator Speech (download template)
- Telling Your Healthy Start Story: Collecting Participant Testimonials
Retention Tools share a common theme of continuous quality improvement. Tools in this section focus on ensuring participants’ social networks are identified and program systems are reviewed through strategies including participant and staff input. This section also encourages the celebration of joint successes and acknowledging community partner contributions, all of which create positive energy and goodwill.
- Weaving a Safety Net: Documenting a Support Network (download template)
- Looking to the Future: Goal Setting (download template)
- Direct From the Source: Participant Interviews (download template)
Direct From the Source: Staff Interviews (download template)
- Ten Steps to Communication Plan Form
- Sample Media Advisory: Local Healthy Start Takes on Breastfeeding
- Infant Mortality Customizable Press Release
- HS25 with a Local Perspective Customizable Press Release
Each month the Healthy Start EPIC center provides content and images that Healthy Start programs can use to promote health topics related to infant mortality prevention. Share this on your program social media pages or in other groups that would benefit from seeing this content.
- October: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month ePostcard images
- October: Child Health Day ePostcard images
- November: National Prematurity Awareness Month and World Prematurity Day ePostcard images
- November: Great American Smokeout ePostcard images
- December: National Influenza Vaccination Week ePostcard images
- December: World AIDS Day ePostcard images
- January: Birth Defects Prevention Month ePostcard images
- January: Folic Acid Awareness Week ePostcard images
- February: National Children’s Dental Health Month ePostcard images
- March: National Poison Prevention Week (March 12-25, 2017) ePostcard images
- April: National Child Abuse Prevention Month ePostcard images
- April: National Infant Immunization Week (April 22-29, 2017) ePostcard images
- May: Mental Health Awareness Month ePostcard images
- May: Preeclampsia Awareness Month ePostcard images
- May: National Alcohol and Other Drug-Related Birth Defects Awareness Week (May 14-20, 2017) ePostcard images
- June: Men’s Health Week (June 12-18, 2017) and Month ePostcard images
- June: National HIV Testing Day (June 27, 2017) ePostcard images
- July: Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
- August: National Breastfeeding Month ePostcard images
- August: National Immunization Awareness Month and Week ePostcard images
- September: Infant Mortality Awareness Month ePostcard images