This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health program. The purpose of this Healthy Start (HS) program is to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy, and reduce racial/ethnic differences in rates of infant death and adverse perinatal outcomes. The HS program provides grants to high-risk communities with infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the U.S. national average and high rates of other adverse perinatal outcomes (e.g., low birthweight, preterm birth, maternal morbidity and mortality). HS works to reduce the disparity in health status between the general population and individuals who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups. Beginning in FY 2019, the HS program will serve infants and families for the first 18 months after birth. This is a change from the current program design, which includes support for infants and families up to 2 years after birth. Since the HS program emphasis is on infant mortality/women’s health/perinatal health, this change allows the program to focus resources on these key purposes and associated milestones (e.g., provision of interconception care), while ensuring support for children through critical milestones (e.g., immunization milestones established by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)). This change also reflects feedback from current recipients in the field to increase program capacity to serve more pregnant women within the project period and promote healthy pregnancy outcomes. HRSA will continue to ensure collaboration with other programs supporting early childhood (including the HRSA-funded Title V and Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) programs) to ensure continued support and healthy development for children born to HS participants. The HS program aims to address its purpose by: ? improving access to quality health care and services for women, infants, children, and families through outreach, care coordination, health education, and linkage to health insurance; ? strengthening the health workforce, specifically those individuals responsible for providing direct services; ? building healthy communities and ensuring ongoing, coordinated, comprehensive services are provided in the most efficient manner through effective service delivery; and ? promoting and improving health equity by connecting with appropriate organizations. Success in these aims should lead to reduced infant mortality, improved birth outcomes, improved maternal/family health, improved child health, and reduced disparities in maternal, infant and child health in HS communities.
Eligible applicants include any domestic public or private entity. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.
Benita Baker, MS