The mission of the Orange County Healthy Start Coalition is to improve maternal and child health in Orange County through community partnerships.
The Orange County Healthy Start Coalition will be the leader in Maternal and Child Health to ensure all babies have a Healthy Start.
As the leader in maternal-child health issues for Orange County, the HSCOC works to ensure all babies are born healthy. Our goal is to reduce infant mortality and the number of babies born too soon or too small.
Healthy Start has contributed to a 21% decrease in Orange County’s infant mortality rate. In addition, our low birth weight rate has decreased significantly. This represents almost 100 fewer babies born too soon or too small who would have begun their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit.
An average stay for a premature or low birth weight baby costs our healthcare system $49,457; thus, Orange County realized a savings of almost $5 Million dollars because of these healthy births. However, a disparity between Black and White infant mortality rates exists: twice as many Black babies die or are born with low birth weight as White babies. This is a troubling statistic that we are working to reduce.
2013--2014 End of Year Report
1) Fundraising Breakfast raised $30,000
2) DOH audit completed without problems
3) Website improved and content added
4) Expanded Boot Camp for New Dads with funding from FL Hosp.
5) Continued Community Foundation’s Donor’s Edge accreditation
6) grant from PCAN to fund 5 ACA navigators
7) Healthy and Ready to Learn Books distributed with ELCOC funding
8) Happiest baby on the block program continued with ELCOC support
9) 39 Weeks Campaign renewed
10) Show your love campaign continued
11) Increased media presence
12) Served on Mayor's Youth Mental Health Task Force committees
13) Serves on Early Head Start Advisory Committee
14) KidCare outreach Grant with USF
15) KidCare Back to School Event
16) Statewide chair of covering kids
17) Infant mental health task force member
18) FAHSC committee work on HS services redesign
19) board member of statewide FL Children’s Campaign
20) Serves as Chair of Central FL Partnership on Health Disparities
21) Healthy Start Mall flourishing
22) Public Ally for Healthy Start and KidCare
23) partnered with health dept to get a national maternal health grant for centering pregnancy and parenting
24) SoB baby bottle campaign
25) SoB shower power’s
26) Quarterly meetings with care coordinators
27) Children’s cabinet Legislative Chair
28) working with DCF re: Substance Abused Newborns
29) Ongoing Health Equity (old BIHPI) involvement
30) ongoing contact with Legislative delegation
Needs Statement – Our 5 most pressing needs are:
· Annual support of our required community match dollars
· Support (participation and funding) to continue our education and outreach program that addresses racial disparities, “Save Our Babies”
· Assistance with marketing and funding our message that “healthy pregnancy = healthy baby”
· Donations of baby items for families in need (from cribs and car seats to diapers, blankets and books)
· Expertise in and donated time for grant writing
Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County is part of a statewide initiative designed to ensure every baby in our state gets a “healthy start” in life. Our goals are to reduce infant mortality and the number of low birth weight babies (<5.5 lbs.) and to improve health and developmental outcomes of pregnant women and infants. When babies are born too soon and too small, our entire community is affected because data show that a dollar invested in preventing a premature or low birth weight birth will save almost seven dollars in later, high-end costs: these babies cost more during their hospital stay and are much more likely to have lower IQs, developmental delays, learning disabilities, behavior problems, poor school performance and to drop out and/or end up in the justice system. In 1991 our legislature enacted the Healthy Start Initiative in response to Florida’s poor standing nationally on key maternal and infant health indicators - infant mortality, prematurity, low birth weight, and access to prenatal care. Florida consistently ranked near the bottom of the other states in these birth outcomes. Since then, Healthy Start has been cited as a national model for relevant and effective maternal and infant care. Healthy Start works by first providing pregnant women a risk-assessment screening for factors that place them at high risk for having a poor birth outcome (premature/low birth weight baby, fetal or infant death). For those who score at-risk, the Healthy Start program then offers them an array of services (e.g., health education, case management, counseling, etc.) that have been shown to decrease a woman’s risk for these poor outcomes. Newborns are also screened at birth and parents are offered similar services to promote their infant’s health and developmental outcomes. Our funding for Healthy Start comes from federal maternal-child health monies and from state general revenue; this funding is given to the Coalitions who, by statute, contract with local providers to address local maternal-child health needs. Unfortunately, our legislature has never fully-funded our program and Healthy Start serves only approximately 45% of the need statewide. Our program is not income-based because any woman can be at risk for poor outcomes. Therefore we target our services to effectively provide women with the education, support and resources they need to improve their chances of having a healthy birth and healthy baby.
Healthy Start, a public private partnership, provides the foundation for early intervention, child protection, and school readiness.Since the Healthy Start Initiative was passed by the Florida Legislature in 1991, the state’s infant mortality rate has decreased as more women have been able to access prenatal care and support services. We work diligently to prevent birth defects, low birth weight and poor birth outcomes because not only do they cause heartbreak to families, they can contribute to developmental delays, behavioral problems, school issues, low self-esteem and even justice system involvement.
The Coalition is responsible for assessing prenatal and infant healthcare needs, funding services to address them, and ensuring that the services funded are cost-effective and have measurable outcomes. Because Black infants die at twice the rate of White infants, our Coalition has made eliminating racial disparities a top priority through our grant-funded Save Our Babies project.
Healthy Start provides a risk-assessment screening for all pregnant women to identify factors that place them at high risk for having a poor birth outcome (premature/low birth weight baby, fetal or infant death). For those who score at-risk, our program then offers women an array of services that have been shown to decrease their risk for these poor outcomes. Newborns are also screened at birth and parents are offered similar services to promote their child’s health and developmental outcomes. Much of our work is done in the home. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1998 indicated that such home visiting programs reduce children’s criminal and antisocial behavior, even 15 years after home visits ended.
Healthy Start is a sound investment. For every dollar spent on preventing an unhealthy birth, $6 is saved in neonatal intensive care costs, recurrent hospital and medical expenses, exceptional and remedial education, child abuse and neglect investigations, disability and dependency costs. Every baby deserves a “Healthy Start”.
I am proud to be the chair of the board of the Healthy Start Coalition ofOrange County. The board and staff of the Coalition have done and continue todo a lot of hard work to advance the maternal child health agenda and awarenessin Orange County. All members of the board believe passionately in the work wedo. We have seen the needs in our community grow and we have done our best tomeet the needs with the funding available.We have diligently tried to stay on top of trends and needs in the communityand stay intimately involved in all child and family advocacy venues. Inparticular, the Director has taken every opportunity to connect services forfamilies and serve as the voice at the table for maternal and child health. OurCoalition continues to be the “go to” organization for maternal and infanthealth statistics and research information.The service delivery process, updated every five years, is very comprehensivein nature. The deliverables to the state Department of Health and Agency for Healthcare Administration are very strenuouslyreviewed and monitored and we have an official audit done annually.I know Healthy Start provides a much needed service to at risk families in ourcommunity. By working with these families during their most vulnerable time;pregnancy and new parenthood, we are truly making a positive impact on thefuture.Unfortunately, during these tough economic times, our program is havingdifficulty keeping up with the needs. (When Healthy Start was created in 1992,the program was only funded at about 45% of need.) The growing number ofundocumented in our community is anotherchallenge, since those pregnant women are not eligible for any governmentassistance. Once the babies are born, the infants will be United Statescitizens, but the mothers receive no funding or coverage for their pre-natalcare. All in all, the program is an excellent investment, since earlyintervention services provided by Healthy Start reduce the need for moreintensive services and community resources later in life. The community isdefinitely stronger and healthier because of the Healthy Start Coalition and webelieve “Every Baby Deserves a Healthy Start”.
We will work toward our goals by contracting with the Orange County Dept. of Health for care coordination services to include case management and home visitation for at risk families.
We will contract with Aspire to provide mental health counseling for at risk mothers. We will contract with an outreach worker to go into neighborhoods and inform the community about Healthy Start services. We will contract with someone in Apopka to do outreach to farmworkers. We will contract with a local midwife for services. We will contract with someone to provide help with breastfeeding. We will continue to support the Healthy Start Mall which incentivizes our at risk moms to get wraparound services. We will continue our focus on reducing racial disparities in birth outcomes by utilizing our Save our Babies program and Infant Mortality Task Force. We will continue our focus on the importance of fathers by supporting our Boot Camp for New Dads program. We will utilize our Resource Development Committee to determine ways to raise needed funds. We will continue to seek grant funding to bring needed programs to our at risk families.
Our nonprofit organization been in existence since 1992 and has proven capable of handling a 3M+ budget for over 20 years. These dollars have come from state and federal dollars. Over and above that, we have received over a million dollars in grant funding. We also receive private donations. All of our annual CPA audits have been clean with no findings and our contract reviews from the FL DOH have been stellar.
Our staff has been hired for their special skills to help us manage our tasks and we have very little turnover. The Executive Director has been in place for over 10 years, and our Assistant Director, who is also a nurse, for over 14 years.
In order to show we are making a difference, we monitor all maternal and child health related statistics by zip code. We also do a community needs assessment every 5 years to make sure our overall priorities are in order. We communicate and collaborate with other community agencies to reduce or eliminate duplication of services. We hold focus groups with our care coordinators to ensure we are responding to client needs appropriately and we also do satisfaction surveys of our clients and program participants. For our education programs a pre and post test is given to ensure we are increasing knowledge.
We have made progress in reducing racial disparities in birth outcomes in zip codes and neighborhoods that we target through our Save our Babies program. We have seen a decline in infant mortality in our county by a significant percentage. We have seen increased awareness of the importance of prenatal care and therefore have one of highest rates in the state for first trimester entry into prenatal care. We have seen a decline in teen pregnancies through some of our efforts. We have trained over 1000 dads through our Boot Camp for New Dads, making us the fastest growing affiliate in the country. We have increased the knowledge in the community of the importance of investing in the early years to make a long term difference socially and economically.
We have learned that it really matter who delivers the message and it must be in a culturally competent manner.
We know there is much work left to be done.
Through grant funding from Heart of Florida UnitedWay, the Healthy Start Coalition conductsBootCamp for New Dads(BCND) in Orange County. BCND is a nationally-recognized,promising best-practice program that provides expectant/new fathers theopportunity to understand their role as father and the importance of earlybonding, to gain parenting skills, and to connect with other fathers in a"safe", non-threatening, relaxed environment through the facilitationof a "veteran" dad. This veteran dad of an older baby shares hisknowledge and experience and gives "rookie" dads the opportunity tohold and burp a baby, change a diaper and to begin to gain confidence, new skillsand a deeper understanding of the child's developmental needs. He also sharesinformation about the common experiences men in general have, including theirrelationships with the baby's mother and how to be a partner in parenting theirchild. Topics of infant safety, importance of breastfeeding, infant soothingtechniques, supporting the new mom, etc. can all be discussed and questionsasked in a relaxed manner; a man is more likely to address his fears andconcerns when other men are speaking about theirs. By witnessing how otherfathers are with their children, fathers also learn about themselves; theylearn they are not backup substitute mothers but are important in their ownright and for different reasons. This knowledge promotes the bonding and attachmentwith their child which is critical for an ongoing relationship with thatchild.
The Coalition is responsible for identifying need in the community, and designing and supporting related services for mothers and babies at risk to ensure that every baby gets a “healthy start” in life. In order to develop and maintain the Coalition and build community collaborations with the purpose of improving target health indices, Ms. Sutherland works with a wide variety of area maternal and child health providers, community agencies, and service providers.
Prior to her work with the Coalition, she served on the Orange County School Board for twelve years. During her tenure she served as both chairman and vice chairman for the local school board and as President of the State School Board Association, as well as many national education and early childhood development advisory committees.
Her areas of special interest and advocacy have always been early childhood issues, especially related to early intervention and prevention, and legislative matters affecting the welfare of children which have involved working closely with neighborhood groups, community leaders, and political representatives. She considers herself first and foremost, a child advocate, so appropriately has spent considerable time learning about brain research, child health and best practices of parenting, educating, etc. Because of these factors and her passion for the well being of children, she is a sought after speaker at events related to the well-being of children, and serves on many boards responding to issues facing children and families in Central FL and around the state, including the FL Children's Campaign.
Since Black babies are more than twice as likely to die in their first year of life as White babies, we are very aware of our board’s racial composition. We want to be sure we get buy in from the community on how best to deal with racial disparity in birth outcomes. We also want to be sure we have representation from health related fields and the business community so they can help us show the cost effectiveness of investing in early intervention. Often this may mean we have board members who cannot attend every meeting, but stay abreast of our activities and support our efforts. We are fortunate to have the commitment of such a diverse and caring group. We also feel lucky to have high quality staff with very little turnover. Our staff members believe in our program, are passionate about making a difference in the lives of families and consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to make our community better. We know we could do so much more with increased funding and staff, but all of us work diligently with what we have to make a real difference.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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