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.

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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 101 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 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

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 maternal and child 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

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 has increased partner and participant engagement

The Results

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.

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 $28.3 million in federal grant funding, most recently a $5.4 million award to support the program from 2019 to 2024.

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

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.

For more information, contact Cynthia Chan, Program Assistant.

Research Partnerships

Since 2008, Natasha Ray, New Haven Healthy Start Project Director, 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 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 Moore, Men's Services Manger.

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 2017. Photo by Kenn Harris

Grants awarded

TBD. Check back for updates.

Diaper Drop-off

You can support the work of New Haven Healthy Start by providing new, disposable diapers to help New Haven Healthy Start families. For diaper drop- off information, please contact the NHHS Program Assistant.

Celebrating #blackchampions4health

How can we help?

Natasha Ray, MS

Program Director New Haven Healthy Start

203-777-7087

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