Overview

The project director (manager) is responsible for developing a service delivery model that achieves program goals detailed in the Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). The service delivery model adapts evidence-based practices, standardized approaches, and continuous quality improvement to achieve Healthy Start benchmarks. The successful service delivery model integrates and coordinates community-based and Healthy Start services to provide holistic and comprehensive services to achieve optimal health outcomes for all participants.

The scope of your Healthy Start project can be thought of as encompassing:

  • Who—who you serve including individuals, families, and communities;
  • What—the services and activities you deliver or engage in with participants and the community; and
  • How—delivering evidence-based services in a context of continuous quality improvement.

Healthy Start Specifics

WHO: Part of your scope as a Healthy Start project is to recruit enough participants—to build your participant enrollment to the benchmark levels below. It is necessary to see a large number of participants in order to have a visible impact on your community.

Level 1 grantees: 500 participants per year; 50% pregnant
Level 2 grantees: 800 participants per year; 50% pregnant
Level 3 grantees: 1000 participants per year; 50% pregnant

WHAT: All Healthy Start programs provide individual services and community support to women, infants, and families, with the goals of improving birth outcomes and reducing disparities in perinatal health. Thus, the second part of your scope relates to the services you deliver to individuals, families, and the community to address known risk factors for poor maternal and birth outcomes.

Target outcomes related to these risk factors (and protective factors) are detailed in the Healthy Start Benchmarks organized under the five approaches (Improve Women’s Health, Promote Quality Services, Strengthen Family Resilience, Achieve Collective Impact, Increase Accountability). Note that not all of the benchmarks apply to all phases of the perinatal period. In developing your program, you will determine when and how to address different risk and protective factors most effectively.

HOW: In line with the five approaches, Healthy Start works to achieve its goals of improving birth outcomes and reducing perinatal disparities, through implementation of evidence-based practices, community collaboration, performance monitoring, and quality improvement. Your Healthy Start project is expected to identify evidence-based practices related to the various benchmarks (e.g., initiation of breastfeeding, safe sleep, postpartum visit, etc.) and adapt them to your program model and participant population.

In addition, your scope of work includes tracking and reporting your project’s performance on the benchmarks, to monitor your progress in achieving them and to identify opportunities for program improvement, adjustments, or capacity building to more effectively serve your participants and community.

Remember that changes to the scope of your grant require prior approval from HRSA. The Project Director should submit a Prior Approval action through the Electronic Handbook (EHB).

HRSA Resources

Other Resources

  • Healthy Start EPIC Center’s Evidence-Based Practices Inventory: This searchable database includes evidence-based practices associated with all of the Healthy Start benchmarks. Users can search by topic, perinatal phase, and resource type.
  • Your own HS project proposal, yearly work plans, and service area map outline the scope of your funded grant project (service area, services, target population, and staff).
    Human Resources