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The Healthy Start Brooklyn program (HSB)-a collaboration between the Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) and the NYC Health Department-seeks to improve the health and wellness of women, infants and families in Central Brooklyn. Rates of infant death, premature birth and illness in the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, East New York, and Flatbush are far higher than elsewhere in NYC and the U.S. HSB provides support services, education and training to reduce these inequalities and improve the lives of Central Brooklyn residents.
Healthy Start staff reach out to women and their families through a variety of neighborhood settings, such as health care clinics and hair salons, connecting them to important health and social services. Program staff conduct ongoing visits with pregnant, postpartum and interconceptional women and their children, providing support, education and screening in such areas as home safety, depression and food insecurity, in order to connect families to services they need. HSB works with community-based organizations such as CAMBA, SCO Family of Services and the Excellence Baby Academy, a parenting program for families with children under 2 years old. Healthy Start also operates the By My Side Birth Support Program, which provides doulas-trained birth assistants—to pregnant women in Central Brooklyn. In addition to supporting the women during their labor and delivery, HSB doulas provide many of the same services as HSB program staff.
Healthy Start also provides training and support for families and providers in a variety of areas, such as child development and developmental delays, perinatal depression, childbirth, family planning, breastfeeding and domestic violence. Through collaboration with hospitals, community-based organizations, city agencies and local consortia, HSB works to develop health care advocacy strategies, best practices and improved services. Healthy Start also works with the NYC DOHMH to collect and interpret neighborhood health data to inform its initiatives, investigate promising practices and implement evidence-based programs.
For more information, please click here or contact the program directly:
Healthy Start Brooklyn
Brooklyn District Public Health Office/DOHMH
485 Throop Avenue, 2nd floor
Brooklyn, New York 11221
HSB is funded through a multi-year grant by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to the FPHNY.