NEW ORLEANS, LA –Tuesday, October 2, 2012, the New Orleans Health Department and Healthy Start New Orleans will be at the Hollygrove Farmer’s Market at 8301 Olive from 4:00pm-6:00pm looking to enroll new families in the Healthy Start program. Kimberly Seals-Allers, the Nationally Recognized Author of the Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy will be on hand for a book signing and give away.
Healthy Start focuses on families who have had a premature or low birth weight baby or infant death in the last year in the Greater New Orleans area. The programs to links mothers and fathers to health care and supportive services that will help them have healthier babies and stronger families.
“Reducing the number of babies who are born at a low birth weight in our community has been something we’ve been addressing since this Administration took office and it remains a long term commitment,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo. “We can only succeed in this fight by investing in multiple factors like working with systems of care, quality providers and putting out effective health messages.”
Babies that are born too small or too soon are at risk for long term health and developmental challenges and Healthy Start, a program of the City of New Orleans Health Department, is actively reaching out to mothers across the city where there are higher than average numbers of low birth weight babies including Hollygrove, Behrman, Plum Orhcard, Read West, and the Seventh Ward. Healthy Start has been meeting with neighborhood leaders and going door to door to get the word out about the program.
In 1991, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funded 15 urban and rural sites in communities with infant mortality rates that were 1.5 - 2.5 times the national average to begin the Healthy Start Initiative. The program began with a five-year demonstration phase to identify and develop community-based systems approaches to reducing infant mortality by 50% over the five-year period and to improve the health and well-being of women, infants, children and their families.
Healthy Start projects address multiple issues, including:
Providing adequate prenatal care;
Promoting positive prenatal health behaviors;
Meeting basic health needs (nutrition, housing, psychosocial support);
Reducing barriers to access; and
Enabling client empowerment.
To sign up for services, families can contact Healthy Start at (504) 658-2600.