Pinellas Healthy Start
The Healthy Start Program is available state-wide and sponsored by the Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas for Pinellas County. The Pinellas County Health Department (DOH-Pinellas) is the lead agency for services. It is considered a maternal and child health program. Healthy Start offers universal screening for all pregnant women at their first prenatal care visit and for infants at their birthing hospital to ensure early preventive care is directed to identify pregnant women and infants at risk for adverse birth, health, and developmental outcomes. Screening forms are sent to DOH-Pinellas Central Registration and reviewed to determine the most suitable home visiting program.
The goal of Healthy Start is to reduce infant mortality, reduce the number of low birth weight babies, and improve health and developmental outcomes in children. There are three care coordination teams located at south, mid, and north county health department centers and eight Healthy Start Office-based staff at prenatal care providers. Home visitors are Nurses, Counselors, and Family Support Workers.
Healthy Start home visiting staff conduct an initial contact and will discuss available home visiting programs that may meet your specific needs. In addition, home visitors are available to provide on-going care coordination during pregnancy and on behalf of the infant until age 3. Healthy Start is offered at no cost and does not depend on income. Once a woman has discovered that she is pregnant, she should fill out the screen at her first prenatal visit.
Healthy Start services include:
- Home visiting
- Information and referral
- Assessment of family needs
- Ongoing care coordination and support to assure access to needed services
- Psychosocial, nutritional and smoking cessation counseling
- Childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting support and education
- Interconception education and counseling