Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Healthy Start Coaltion of Sarasota County

I was honored recently to be invited to participate on the Planning and Evaluation Committee of the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, in their efforts to produce a Service and Delivery Plan for 2010-2015. This will be a comprehensive plan outlining what conditions must be present in Sarasota County to promote healthy pregnant women and babies.

I have attended two meetings so far and have learned so much. This collective of people from groups countywide is committed to providing accurate data and using it effectively to create better conditions in our community. It has really opened my eyes to look behind the scenes at this group; my only prior knowledge of them was obtained during my own pregnancies, and I was most impressed.

During my initial prenatal screening, my midwife presented me with a Healthy Start risk assessment, a consent form allowing contact from a Healthy Start Care Coordinator, and information about the services they provide. The Care Coordinator called shortly thereafter. She was very supportive and knowledgeable, and offered me a myriad of services and information, including car seat safety, breastfeeding info, and free Infant CPR classes. Healthy Start is truly committed to getting their comprehensive prenatal and infant care information to every family who needs it, regardless of income or demographic.

Healthy Start services include care coordination and referrals for wraparound services for pregnant women and parents of children up to the age of three, such as pre/interconception education, psychosocial counseling, smoking cessation programs, childbirth education, breastfeeding education and support, nutrition counseling, and parenting education. Referrals are also made to appropriate agencies for food, clothing, baby items, etc.

If you are pregnant, please consent to being contacted by Healthy Start. When more people consent to being contacted, Healthy Start receives more funding to give support where it is truly needed.
ABOUT THE HEALTHY START COALITION OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC.: The mission and goal of the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. is to improve the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, infants and younger children. Pregnancy and childbirth are major life events. Parenting during early childhood is very important. A physically and emotionally healthy course is needed for the rest of life. Healthy Start is driven by this precious and fragile life event. Our staff, members, service providers, and friends want to help assure that pregnant women, families, and infants in Sarasota County get needed care and services.

Please visit the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. if you would like to donate or volunteer. A wide range of opportunities is available.


  1. Thank you for posting our information to your blog! The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. is passionate about maternal-child health, and would love to have others join us in reaching our goals. Pregnant women who are at risk for poor birth outcomes and infants who are at risk for health or development problems deserve professional, caring Healthy Start services. Our professional and lay community deserves to know the latest in maternal-child health research. We are always looking for energetic volunteers, compassionate donors, and others to help us improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, infants, and young children.

  2. Thank you for your wonderful post, Laura! It gives a great overview of Healthy Start.

    Jenna Norwood
    Chair, HSCSC

  3. Laura, it is great to see how committed you are to this mission and your purpose in our community. Thank you for your time and energy.
    Janice Baxter, ACSW