Healthy Start History
Over the past thirty years, the Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler & Volusia Counties, Inc. has become an integral component of and leader in 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. This membership serves as the base from which volunteers are recruited to serve on Healthy Start committees. Over the past several years, the Healthy Start Coalition of Flagler & Volusia Counties has leveraged thousands of hours of volunteer time to address issues relating to pregnant women and young families.
In addition, the Coalition strives to foster collaboration among numerous community service organizations, medical providers, governmental entities, businesses, civic and volunteer groups regarding maternal and child health issues. One result 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.
Our Foundation, Directives and Purpose
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. Healthy Start Coalitions seek to lower risk factors associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, infant mortality and poor developmental outcomes. Across the state, 32 coalitions are charged with serving each of Florida’s communities and working on behalf of maternal and child health.
To achieve their comprehensive directive, Healthy Start Coalitions are required to perform a number of key functions, including:
- 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 improving maternal and child health in communities.
- Allocating maternal and child health funds on a local level for the provision of Healthy Start services.
The financial structure of Healthy Start Coalitions are unique in that as organizations, they both receive and allocate funds from various state and local funding sources.
For more information about Healthy Start Coalitions or 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 of Flagler & Volusia Counties provides oversight and management of the Healthy Start Care Coordination and several other programs for pregnant women and families.