Keisha was 18, pregnant and the sole caretaker of her two younger siblings. The stress and worry felt like too much for her, and without proper prenatal care, her baby was at risk for preterm birth or a slew of other problems.
Keisha found health care and support at the Central Hillsborough Healthy Start Project. Funded in part by HRSA’s national Healthy Start Block Grant, the project has been providing care for mother’s and babies in the Tampa area for 10 years.
About 60 percent of women who give birth each year in America receive services through programs funded by the HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Most MCHB funds are sent to states through formula-based block grants, which totaled $666 million in FY 2008.
These block grants support vital immunizations and newborn screening tests, along with transportation and case management services that help families access care. States also use block grant funds to develop and implement community-based care systems for children with special health needs and their families.
Additionally, HRSA supports nearly 100 Healthy Start sites in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that provide community-based outreach, case management, depression screening and educational activities for women in areas with high rates of infant mortality and shortages of health care providers.