New Haven Healthy Start


We're glad you're here. If you're interested in creating a community of healthy families and successful births, you're in the right place. 

Our Goal

New Haven Healthy Start helps pregnant women and mothers deliver healthy and happy babies. The Black infant mortality rate in New Haven is more than twice as high as the mortality rate for White infants. Eliminating this and other disparities in birth outcomes and reducing infant mortality and morbidity rates overall is our primary goal. 

Donate Now



Upcoming Events

August 16, 2019 -  9th Annual Family, Fun and Fitness Day 

Join New Haven Healthy Start for a fun, free day of Zumba, face painting, hula hoop, tug-o-war, jump rope, potato sack race, community resources, health screenings and so much more!  Lunch provided - hotdogs, hamburgers, chips!

Friday, August 16, 2019
12:00 p.m. -3: 00 p.m.
Scantlebury Park
139 Ashmun St., New Haven

Click here or on the image to the right to download a PDF flyer for the event 

Who We Are

New Haven Healthy Start (NHHS)

NHHS is a federally-funded urban health initiative that focuses on infant mortality and the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.  It is part of a national network of 100 Healthy Start programs in 37 states and funded by the federal grant (H49MC00095) from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Division of Perinatal Health Systems.

For a detailed description of how NHHS is targeting the leading causes of high infant mortality rates among Black births other disparities in birth outcomes, download our full federal grant application.

For more information about New Haven Healthy Start, please contact one of the staff members below:

Rodney Moore, Men's Services Manager
Natasha Ray, Core Services Manager
Cynthia Chan, Program Assistant

How New Haven Healthy Start Works

One of the best ways to ensure healthy birth outcomes is to support pregnant women and mothers with a strong support network.

New Haven Healthy Start strengthens the entire health system for women and babies through its care-coordination service model.

Care coordinators are strategically located at the sites pregnant mothers are most likely to visit and make sure they are connected to all the sevices they need for successful births.  LEARN MORE

Our Impact

In two decades of New Haven Healthy Start . . . 

  • More than 13,000 pregnant women have received care coordination services
  • More than 9,000 infants have secured medical homes in primary care centers
  • Infant mortality rates in New Haven have dropped by more than half.
  • All prenatal women enrolled in NHHS have received comprehensive risk assessments 
  • The Consortium and Perinatal Partnership has increased partner and participant engagement
  • The perinatal health system in New Haven is strengthened 


The Results

New Haven Infant Mortality Rate, 1987-2017


Prior to New Haven Healthy Start, one out of 50 babies in New Haven died within their first year of birth, an Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of more than 20 deaths per 1,000 live births. The IMR was 79% higher than the state average and 64% higher than the national average. 


The IMR in New Haven has fallen to 7 deaths per 1,000 live births. For New Haven Healthy Start babies, the IMR is 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, or one out of 222, which is also below both state and national averages.

History of New Haven Healthy Start

In 1985, The Community Foundation convened the Comission on Child and Infant Health to address alarmingly high infant mortality rates in New Haven, particularly among African Americans.

The collaboration between health officials, community leaders and child care advocates provided the base for The Community Foundation’s application for federal funding for a Healthy Start program in New Haven.

The program received its first grant and was launched in 1997. To this day, New Haven Healthy Start is the only Healthy Start program in the country to be a program of a community foundation. 

Since its inception, New Haven Healthy Start has has successfully implemented all core services for a federal Healthy Start program. It has received $22.6 million in federal grant funding, most recently a $5.7 million award to support the program from 2014 to 2019.

Past Events

20th Anniversary Convening, "Then, Now & Beyond" (2017)


Health Equity Summit (2015)


New Haven Healthy Start and the City of New Haven hosted national leaders on health disparities at the New Haven Health Equity Summit on October 22, 2015. 

16th U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher at the New Haven Health Equity Summit

Research Partnerships

Research Partnerships

Since 2008, Natasha Ray, New Haven Healthy Start Core Services Manager, and physician researchers from the Yale Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (YRWJFCSP) have partnered on a series of research projects to address maternal health issues in New Haven. 

An opportunity arose between these two long standing research partners to gain a greater understanding of and enhance the experiences of other community leaders (including other Healthy Start Programs) and university researchers in collaborative relationships. The result is this guidebook of best practices in community partnered research.

The Men's Consortium

The Men's Consortium was established by the New Haven Healthy Start program as a gathering place for resources, networking and support for men and fathers in Greater New Haven. A local consortium of program participants, residents, health care providers, community organizations, state and local governmental agencies and other  stakeholders has great potential to create community-based solutions. For more information, contact Rodney.

2018-2019 Men's Consortium Meeting Schedule
Date Time Location
Thurs., Sept. 27, 2018 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl
Thurs., Oct. 25, 2018 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., Dec. 27, 2018 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., Jan. 24, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., Feb. 28, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., Mar. 28, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., Apr. 25, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., May 23, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl

Thurs., Jun.27, 2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Community Foundation,
70 Audubon St. New Haven, 3rd Fl


Check out this video from Consortium member and spoken word artist Danté Simmons.

The Men's Consortium meets on a periodic basis at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Call 203-777-7086 or email for information about meetings and transportation.  

Reconnecting men and fathers to families and communities

Congratulations to New Haven Healthy Start for being recognized for its participation in the national Fatherhood Buzz Initiative.

Men's Consortium meeting, February 2017Men's Consortium meeting, February 2017. Photo by Kenn Harris

The Baby Buddy Program

New Haven Healthy Start knows that one of the best ways to support pregnant women, mothers and their babies to ensure healthy birth outcomes is to create a strong support network in their community.

If you are a New Haven neighborhood resident, you can help  at-risk moms and their babies by joining the Baby Buddy Program. 

Grants Awarded

Grants awarded

New Haven Healthy Start has awarded grants to the following organizations:

  • New Haven Health Department
  • Yale New Haven Hospital
  • Hill Health Center
  • Fair Haven Community Health Center
  • New Reach, Inc.
  • Christian Community Action, Inc.
  • New Haven Family Alliance

Healthy families need healthy men 

While health care spending is at an all-time high, the health system is failing young African American men, according to a March, 2015 commentary published in The Journal of American Medical Association. Co-authored by former New Haven Healthy Start Director Kenn Harris and Boston Medical Center research physicians, the opinion piece offers analysis and recommendations for how the medical field can better meet the needs of African American men.

Did you know?

New Haven Healthy Start runs risk assessments among its mothers, including screening for depression, and collaborates with New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS). MOMS received a $2.5 million, five-year grant that pays for therapy groups at public housing, community ambassadors who facilitate empowerment groups, and a public awareness effort to undo the stigma that prevents mothers from seeking help for mental health.


You can support the work of New Haven Healthy Start by making an online contribution and providing new, disposable diapers to help New Haven Healthy Start families. For diaper drop- off information, please call the NHHS Program Assistant at 203-777-7086.

How can we help?

Natasha Ray, MS

Core Services Manager
New Haven Healthy Start
 203-777-7087 Email Natasha


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



Sign Up for E-news