New Haven Healthy Start

Welcome!

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. 

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Nonprofit organizations provided lots of health information and resources to New Haven families at the NHHS Annual Family, Fun and Fitness Day. In addtion to food and lively music, there were school backpack give-a-ways, raffles, Zumba sessions, a potato sack race and a bounce house.

Recent Events

September 7, 2019 - Judicial Panel and Fatherhood/Family Forum

Thank you to everyone who joined us for another community forum with guests from the State of CT Judicial Branch. Many times families are interacting with the court system not fully understanding how it operates and impacts their lives. This forum is designed to educate the community about how court services and how the family and juvenile courts operate.

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

Thanks to all who joined New Haven Healthy Start at this year's annual event. It was a fun day filled with many activities from Zumba to face painting, hula hoop, tug-o-war, jump rope, potato sack race, community resources, health screenings and more!

Scantlebury Park was filled with approximately 200 participants, including nearly 25 nonprofit organizations represented. The Chief of the New Haven Fire Department was in attendance, speaking with families about fire safety during a fire and safety simulation. Officers from the Yale Police Department passed out popsicles. A great group of physicians from Haiti visiting Yale New Haven Health’s YNH Hospital joined the activities of the day, expressing gratitude for the model and life-saving information they could take back to their community. 

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:

Natasha Ray, Program Director
Rodney Moore, Men's 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

1987

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. 


2017 

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 Commission 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 Event Highlights

Events

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

Thanks to all who joined New Haven Healthy Start at this year's annual event. It was a fun day filled with many activities from Zumba to face painting, hula hoop, tug-o-war, jump rope, potato sack race, community resources, health screenings and more!

Scantlebury Park was filled with approximately 200 participants, with nearly 25 nonprofit organizations represented. The Chief of the New Haven Fire Department was in attendance, speaking with families about fire safety during a fire and safety simulation. Officers from the Yale Police Department passed out popsicles.  A great group of physicians from Haiti visiting Yale New Haven Health’s YNH Hospital joined the activities of the day, expressing gratitude for the model and life-saving information they could take back to their community.

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

NHHS Consortium/Community Action Network

New Haven Healthy Start Consortium/Community Action Network (CAN) hosts meetings every other month where New Haven residents, healthcare providers, mothers, fathers, and caregivers create a network of community support around the issues of health equity and infant mortality. The meetings are an opportunity to engage in discussions around barriers to quality healthcare, share resources, and advocate for changes to improve the health and wellbeing of our community. Everyone is welcome. Please join us and be a part of a movement that believes all children and their families can thrive. 

Consortium/Community Action Network Meeting Dates 2019-2020:

Wednesday, November 20th, 4-5:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
70 Audubon St, 4th floor Cooper Room New Haven, CT 06510

Wednesday, January 15th, 4-5:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
70 Audubon St, 4th floor Cooper Room New Haven, CT 06510

Wednesday, March 18th, 4-5:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
70 Audubon St, 4th floor Cooper Room New Haven, CT 06510

Wednesday, May 20th, 4-5:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
70 Audubon St, 4th floor Cooper Room New Haven, CT 06510
 

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 of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven as a support network for men & fathers in the Greater New Haven area.  Community involvement is essential in program planning, implementation and evaluation.  A local consortia with program participants, residents, community organizations, health care providers, various stakeholders, and state and local governmental agencies as members have great potential to create community-based solutions.  TMC creates this space for men & fathers. For more information, contact Rodney.

2019-2020 Meeting Schedule

Thursday, October 24, 2019, 5pm – 6:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
70 Audubon Street, 3rd floor Community Room New Haven, CT 06510

Thursday, December 19, 2019, 5pm – 6:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
 70 Audubon Street, 3rd floor Community Room New Haven, CT 06510

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 5pm – 6:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
70 Audubon Street, 3rd floor Community Room New Haven, CT 06510

Thursday, April 23, 2020, 5pm – 6:30pm
Location: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
 70 Audubon Street, 3rd floor Community Room New Haven, CT 06510

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 cchan@cfgnh.org 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

Program Director
New Haven Healthy Start
 203-777-7087 Email Natasha

Address

70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Directions

Contact

203-777-2386
ContactUs@cfgnh.org

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