In The Face Of COVID-19, Baltimore Healthy Start Builds Resiliency

Posted : 07/10/20 in In the News

In The Face Of COVID-19, Baltimore Healthy Start Builds Resiliency

Posted 3 years 9 months ago

Repost: Partial Article from the National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ)


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life across the country, with schools and childcare closed, routine medical care delayed, public transportation limited, and millions of jobs lost. These disruptions have disproportionately affected vulnerable low-income communities where families already face significant threats to their health and well-being, including housing and food insecurity and less access to medical care.


In response, Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc., a federally funded program focused on eliminating disparities in perinatal health, has launched a multi-pronged approach to support the families they serve—many of whom live in poverty and struggle to meet their basic needs. From virtual home visits to delivering emergency supplies, Baltimore Healthy Start is persevering despite the barriers affecting the health and well-being of at-risk families during the pandemic. 


“A lot of our families already live in food deserts and have transportation issues, and now they are more isolated than ever,” explains Baltimore Healthy Start Executive Director Lashelle Stewart, MBA. “And if health issues were a problem before, imagine how they are now when they’re being exacerbated by stress?”


“Everything that was already an issue and already put people at a deficit is being amplified because of this crisis. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to provide our families with even more support right now.”


Baltimore Healthy Start is one of 101 Healthy Start sites nationwide that provide maternal and child health services in communities disproportionately impacted by poor birth outcomes. As the National Technical Assistance and Support Center, NICHQ works with all Healthy Start sites to accelerate and coordinate their efforts as they collaborate to pursue national change.


“COVID-19 has magnetized the critical importance of Healthy Start,” says NICHQ Senior Project Director Kenn Harris. “Even amid this crisis, Healthy Start sites are building resiliency in their communities so that they can come out even stronger on the other side of this. That’s what Healthy Start is all about: it strengthens communities and improves health outcomes for families.


“Baltimore’s work really shows what it means to be ‘Healthy Start Strong’.”


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