Healthy Start History

Healthy Start Coalitions were created by the Florida Legislature in 1991 as part of the landmark Healthy Start initiative (s.383.2161, F.S.). The intent of the Healthy Start initiative is to improve the health and well-being of Florida’s pregnant women and young children. Two of the major components of this comprehensive legislation were the creation of the Healthy Start program and the Healthy Start Coalitions. The Healthy Start Coalitions were given the legislative mandate to ensure that adequate and accessible systems of care are in place for all pregnant women and young children. In order to achieve this comprehensive directive, Healthy Start Coalitions are required to perform a number of key functions, including the following:

  • Building and maintaining broad community input and collaboration.
  • Increasing overall public awareness of the importance of investing in pregnant women and children.
  • Performing short and long range planning for the target population.
  • Allocating available federal and state maternal and child health funds on a local level for the provision of Healthy Start services.

For more information about Healthy Start Coalitions, and to read about the history, facts, and standards and guidelines of the program, visit the Florida Department of Health’s website or click here. In addition to the above mandates, the Healthy Start Coalition also provides oversight and management of the Healthy Start program. The financial structure of the Coalition is unique in that the organization both receives and allocates funds from various state and local funding sources.

The legislation pertaining to the funding and operations of Healthy Start Coalitions includes the following provisions:

  • Coalitions receive base operational funding of $147,900 annually with a 25% local match requirement in order to secure additional local funding and support for the initiative.
  • Coalitions were created as non-profit, “quasi-governmental” entities, and as such are required to adhere to the dictates of Florida’s “Government in the Sunshine” law.
  • Coalitions are legislatively prohibited from providing Healthy Start services to clients. Due to this restriction, Coalitions are able to maintain neutrality and objectivity in regard to service delivery system analysis, allocation of funds, and evaluation of program services.

During the past twenty years, the Coalition has become an integral component of local systems of maternal and child health and well-being. The Coalition has developed a broad-based membership including representatives of the business sector, local government, public health, social service agencies, and private citizens invested in maternal and child health issues. The membership serves as the base from which volunteers are recruited to serve on Healthy Start committees. Over the past several years, the Coalition has leveraged thousands of hours of volunteer time to address issues relating to pregnant women and young families.

In addition to building a large and diverse membership, the Coalition also strives to foster collaboration among numerous social service providers, governmental entities, the business community, and civic and volunteer organizations regarding maternal and child health issues. One of the results of these collaborative partnerships has been the ability to successfully leverage additional funds to support specific projects and the overall improvement of our systems of maternal and child health and support services.

Mission & Goals

The Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties is a non-profit organization striving to unite people and resources at the local level in order to meet the needs of pregnant women, infants, young children and their families. We accomplish this by using shared resources to manage and coordinate the services of many programs, including: Healthy Start, MomCare and Healthy Families.

Our Coalition is governed by a Board of Directors, maintains various committees, and welcomes general memberships.

The mission of the Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties is to connect people and resources to support the needs and well-being of our families.

Guiding Principles
We believe that:

  1. Quality must be integral to all facets of Healthy Start activities.
  2. The Protective Factors framework is our overarching philosophy to promote every family’s ability to raise healthy and happy children and contribute to a strong community.
  3. All Healthy Start staff, volunteers, and partners must respect and value all cultures and commit to continuous improvement in our workforce’s understanding of diversity – in employees, clients and partners.

2017 – 2021 Goals (Five-Year Strategic Planning)

Click here to access our 2017 – 2021 Service Delivery Plan

In our service delivery area, which includes the geographic regions of Volusia and Flagler counties, the Coalition has set the following goals based on the findings of the 2016 needs assessment and service area resources assessment and inventory.

  • Reduce the infant mortality rate to 4.5 or less.
  • Reduce the black infant mortality rate to 4.5 or less.
  • Reduce the low birth weight rate to 7.2% or less.
  • Increase the first trimester entry into prenatal care rate to 85.0% or greater.
  • Reduce the late or no entry into prenatal care rate to 3.6% or less.
  • Increase the infant screening rate to 90.0% or greater.
  • Maintain the prenatal screening rate at 97% or greater.
  • Increase the prenatal screening rate of consent to 93% or greater.

Our Staff

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Funders, Providers & Partners

providersWe are very grateful to our  funders who enable us to continue to give our babies the very best start in life:

  • The City of Deltona
  • County of Volusia, Children and Families Advisory Board
  • Community Partnership for Children
  • Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Inc. (Florida Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting [MIECHV] Initiative)
  • Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Florida Department of Health
  • Healthy Families Florida
  • Healthy Start MomCare Network
  • The House Next Door
  • Lutheran Services Florida, Inc.
  • The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida
  • United Way Women’s Initiative
  • West Volusia Hospital Authority

Our providers help us to enhance our services. We appreciate their participation in all of our programs:

  • Florida Department of Health in Flagler County
  • Florida Department of Health in Volusia County
  • Healthy Communities
  • Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.
  • Janet Elliott, FIMR Abstractor
  • Maria Long, Lifesong Community Liaison
  • Dianne Reed, FIMR Abstractor

Partnerships help us strengthen our future and we thank the following partners for their part in our success:

  • ACNS Technologies, Inc.
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Center for Business Excellence
  • Children’s Medical Services
  • The Chiles Academy
  • Community Partnership for Children
  • Daytona State College
  • The Department of Children and Families ACCESS
  • Domestic Abuse Council
  • Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia
  • Early Steps
  • Easter Seals of Volusia and Flagler Counties
  • Family Health Source/NEFHS
  • Family Life Center
  • Family Renew Community
  • Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions
  • Florida Department of Health in Flagler County
  • Florida Department of Health in Volusia County
  • Florida Hospital Deland
  • Go Beyond, LLC
  • Halifax OB/GYN Associates
  • Halifax Community Health Systems
  • Healthy Communities
  • The House Next Door
  • Mid-Florida Community Services
  • One Voice for Volusia Thrive by Five
  • Redlands Christian Migrant Association
  • The Star Shelter
  • Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.
  • The TEARS Foundation
  • University of Central Florida, School of Nursing
  • Volusia County Division of Corrections
  • WARM (Women Assisting Recovering Mothers)
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Western Governor’s University, School of Nursing