2016-2017 Annual Report

Page 1


Who We Are Established in 1991 as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation by the Baltimore City Health Department to implement the original federal Healthy Start infant mortality reduction initiative, Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. promotes health and wellness by providing expecting and new mothers and their families with the health care and resources they need to nurture their children. We believe in community health workers and peer models of improving health. Our recruiters, most of whom live in the communities they serve, meet women at their doorsteps and enroll them in a program that provides support through all stages of their maternal life: from preconception to pregnancy to postpartum, between pregnancies, and during a child’s first few years of life.

What We Do ✔ Prevent infant deaths ✔ Transform families — emotionally and educationally ✔ Provide local and national leadership regarding social

determinants of health, family resiliency and health

Where We Are We work in areas with rates of infant mortality at least 1½ times the U.S. national average and high rates for other adverse perinatal outcomes (e.g., low birthweight, preterm birth, maternal morbidity and mortality)

We offer: Two home visiting programs: the Federal Healthy Start

in order to address the needs of

Program and Healthy Families America Wellness services, including

high-risk women and their families

family planning (in home or at the center), preventive screenings to

before, during, and after pregnancy.

identify early pregnancy complications (IPV, smoking etc.), mental health and other health screenings, with appropriate referrals, Belly

We operate out of four locations:

Buddies, and Sister Circle Family and community engagement, such

• Our full-service community center in

as transportation to health care appointments and center services;

child-care for parents during classes/events at the center; GED classes;

• Forest Park/Walbrook,

a Parent Leadership Group; a store; monthly events and more Baltimore

Healthy Start, Inc. recruits pregnant and postpartum women with a

• Morrell Park/Violetville,

child less than six months llees to a Neighborhood Health Advocate

or Family Support Worker, a staff member who performs home visits

• and Total Health Care,

and provides necessary, individualized support to the family until the

1501 Division St., only for clients

newborn reaches 24 or 36 months of age (depending on the program).

of Total Health Care

East Baltimore, 610 North Chester St. 2300 Garrison Boulevard 1805 Wickes Avenue


Dear Partners and Friends, This past year Baltimore Healthy Start has dealt with funding challenges and transitions. Despite these realities, the staff, partners and families served have shown tremendous resilience and tenacity. We have continued to provide the quality service that has contributed to the agency’s over 25 years of delivering

Board Officers:

Dorothy Reed, MBA, Chair

Joyce Carla Farrington, M.Ed.,

OTR Vice Chair

Mary Sue Welcome, Esquire,


services that reduce infant mortality and positively impact public health

Sarah Rose, MBA, Treasurer

concerns across the city. As a result of the implementation of our Breast Feeding Education Group we

Board Members:

increased our breast feeding initiation rate by 24.7%. By changing the scope of

Leana Wen, MD MSc

work for our Certified Nurse Practitioner, 100% of our moms had reproductive life plans, these plans help families to better make informed decisions about their

Robert Oliver Atlas, MD

reproductive health and family planning.

Alex Blum, MD, MPH

Housing continues to be one of the greatest social determinants to impact the health and wellbeing of our families. Our Community Action Network decided this was an area to use our collective influence to affect change. As a result, our

Beatrice Scott, BA Gena White O’Keefe, MD

Community Action Network partnered with other agencies such as Communities

Francine J, Childs, BS

United, Jews for Justice and the Public Justice Center to support the drafting

(Baltimore City Health

of a Bill for rental licensing and regulation for all landlords in Baltimore City. The

Department Designee)

passing of this legislation would give our families a proactive way to ensure that the housing they rent meets standards designed in the best interest of their health. We are hopeful about the process understanding that it is a first step of


many avenues that we can take to affect tangible change to improve health. Thanks to your generous support, we served over 800 families last year

and had 0 infant deaths! Your contributions allow us to continue to provide, supportive services, cribs for safe sleep and other assistance and items essential for our families’ success. We are continuing to work with our external evaluators, Carson Research Group to examine our data to strategically meet the needs of our families as well as grow

91% Federal Funds 5.6% State, local and other grants .5% Fundraising/Donations 2.98% In Kind Services

.5% 2.98%

our programming and the services we offer families. We are looking forward with great expectation to a


new year of growth and opportunities. On behalf of the leadership team, staff and Board, we thank you for your continued support.

91% Lashelle Stewart Interim, Executive Director



As a high school senior, Dominique says she was “a typical teenager,” with little on her mind except graduating and having fun with her friends. Having a baby was definitely not part of the plan. “I’m not thinking about kids. So for me to find out that I was pregnant was a complete shock.” She was 17, living at home with her mother and an older brother, didn’t have a job, and didn’t know anyone else who was in her situation. She was all alone, in other words. “I was afraid and confused,” she admits. Fortunately, she made an appointment with an obstetrician, and that’s where she found out about Healthy Start. “A woman in the office told me about it. I didn’t want to go at first, because I am shy and nervous.” But she went — partly drawn by the offer of a free playpen, clothes, diapers, and other supplies, which she couldn’t otherwise afford — and the decision proved to be life-changing, for her and for her child. “Going to Healthy Start was the best thing I could do. It made me come out of my shell and become more confident.” And it gave her a purpose. Dominique says she went to Healthy Start several times a week, for the duration of her pregnancy, to attend group sessions like Belly Buddies, and to take classes — learning everything from breastfeeding and cooking, to positive parenting and yoga. “The name says it all: It was all about making a healthy start and having a healthy life.” She says she also learned the importance of finishing. Although she had to drop out of high school in the spring to have her son, Cameron, she plans to return in the fall to earn her last few credits and graduate. “If I hadn’t gone to Healthy Start, I honestly don’t know what my pregnancy would have been like.”


We rely on the generosity and guidance of our many wonderful partners across Baltimore, including:

2016-2017 OUR PARTNERS

Current Funders and Foundation Supporters

Public Agencies

House of Ruth

Baltimore City Health Department

Baltimore City Health Department

Maryland Food Bank

Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program

Martin Luther King, Jr., Early Head Start

Baltimore City WIC Program

Maryland Home Visiting Alliance

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Family League of Baltimore Health Resources and Services Administration-Maternal and Child Health Bureau Morris A. Mechanic Foundation, Inc. Network and Associations National Healthy Start Association B’More for Healthy Babies Maryland Birth Network Home Visiting Alliance/Consortium Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition Medical and Behavioral Health Care Providers Baltimore Medical Systems Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Charm City Clinic Chase Brexton Health Services, Inc. Chrysalis House, Inc. Family Health Centers of Baltimore Hope Health Systems LifeBridge Health Mercy Medical Center Park West Health System Sinai Hospital St. Agnes Hospital Total Health Care, Inc. Health Insurance Providers Amerigroup Maryland

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Department of Health and Mental Hygiene -Behavioral Health

Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform Mercy Supportive Housing

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene -Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control

New Vision House of Hope

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities

Sisters Together and Reaching

Park Heights Community Health Alliance St. Francis Xavier Head Start

Enoch Pratt Free Library

St. Jerome’s Head Start

Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers

St. Mark’s United Church of Christ St. Mary The Virgin Church

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development-Baltimore U.S. Office of Minority Health

Tench Tilghman Elementary/ Middle School

Home Visiting Programs Healthy Start Programs Nationwide Baltimore Medical System Bon Secours Baltimore Health System DRU/Mondawmin Healthy Families

Local Businesses Glade Creek Hogan Lovells, U.S., LLP Oh Taste Lactation Omni Elevator Company

The Family Tree

Academic and National Partners

Maryland Family Network

Baltimore City Community College

Maternal and Infant Care/Baltimore City Health Department

Epsilon Omega Chapter, AKA

Community Based Organizations

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Associated Black Charities

March of Dimes (Maryland/D.C.)

Black Nurses Association

Morgan State University School of Community Health & Policy

Center for Urban Families

Care First Blue Cross/Blue Shield

Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning

Priority Partners

Equity Matters

United HealthCare

Green and Healthy Homes Health Care Access Maryland

National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition National Healthy Start Association


What is the most pressing issue related to health

to rise and household income has stagnated.

in Baltimore? Certainly addiction and mental health

Together, these crises are causing a downward spiral

are perennial problems, along with education and

of hardship, uncertainty, and dislocation for families

employment. However, new information shows that

across Baltimore.

access to affordable housing is rapidly becoming the number one factor preventing Baltimore’s families from living healthy lives.

Heaviest burden on children

Female-headed households with kids suffer under the

That was the conclusion drawn by participants of

largest housing burdens, which is particularly troubling

“Health and Housing: Policy Options and Solutions

given that families with children generally must spend

for Women and Families,” a symposium sponsored

more on basic necessities and thus experience the

by Baltimore Healthy Start Inc.’s Community Action

effects of a housing-cost burden more severely. That,

Network (CAN). CAN includes representatives

in turn, increases financial insecurity and the risk of

from the Baltimore City Health Department,

eviction or foreclosure.

Amerigroup, Art with a Heart, B’More for Healthy Babies, and others.

Burdens of this magnitude force families to cut down on other necessary expenses, and can have negative effects on child outcomes and quality of life. Baltimore’s lowest income families have long suffered

For example, more than half of Baltimore’s renters live in housing they cannot afford; 57 percent pay more than one-third of their income for housing and, staggeringly, 33 percent pay more than half. A Serious Issue

How big is the problem? Big, according to a report on housing affordability in Baltimore, funded by the Abell Foundation and presented at the symposium. For example, more than half of Baltimore’s renters live in housing they cannot afford; 57 percent pay more than one-third of their income for housing and, staggeringly, 33 percent pay more than half. And it’s getting worse. The study, “The Double Crisis,” conducted by a Johns Hopkins graduate student, reveals that Baltimore’s affordable rental market is eroding on two sides: Rental fees continue

from enormous housing cost burdens, but over the last two decades more and more middle and working class families have begun to struggle.

The bottom line

Participants in the CAN symposium addressed a number of issues that impact families across Baltimore, including potential policy solutions, the interaction between housing and health, and the shifting landscape of affordable housing. The bottom line is that Baltimore’s families are facing evictions, unsustainable rent hikes, substandard housing and boarded up homes while trying to have healthy pregnancies and lives. Tied together, housing and health present a major crisis that affects the future of Baltimore and warrants further investigation. •







91.5% of pregnant enrolled women abstained from smoking in the third trimester 84.7% of pregnant Healthy Start women say the father is involved

86.5% of healthy start women have a usual source of medical care

100% of Healthy Start women had a reproductive life plan



91% of participants had health insurance

24.7% increase in breast feeding initiation



49.4% of infants are read to at least 3x per week 16% increase in infants who sleep safely

51% increase in children who received well child visits according to schedule

Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. is committed to reducing infant mortality by utilizing a Life Course Perspective for improving the health and well-being of women and their families through the provision of comprehensive, supportive services offered in the communities where they live.

610 N. Chester St. Baltimore, MD 21205 410-675-2125 (phone) 410-327-6181 (fax)


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