Page 1

25 YEARS of Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Baltimore’s Families

2015 - 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

A 25-YEAR LEGACY OF INVESTMENT For 25 years, Baltimore Healthy Start Inc. has been investing in the health and well-being of Baltimore’s families by working to reduce infant mortality and poor perinatal health outcomes by providing direct services to the most vulnerable citizens in Baltimore – pregnant and postpartum women, and their infants living in socially, economically, and medically disadvantaged communities. We are a leader in raising awareness on how social determinants of health—access to health insurance, education, job opportunities and a safe living environment—impact health and drive inequities in health outcomes.








1 of the original 15 Healthy Start sites across the country

Added Men’s Services Component and Transportation to clinic visits

Started breastfeeding training and support groups

Lead Agency for Safe and Sound United Way Campaign — Success by 6®

Joe Jones, Director of Men’s Services at Healthy Start founded Center for Urban Families

Perinatal Mood disorder screening (ie depression, anxiety) for all enrolled clients and making proper referrals

2002 Added evidenced based child development curriculum Growing Great Kids

2003 Began a 7 year Care Coordination and Supportive Employment Initiative with Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems

Dear Partners, Last January, I asked many of you one-on-one or in town hall settings— What sets us apart? How should we position ourselves for success? Almost a year later, the answers have made our 25th year one of the most successful to date. Our tenacity for problem solving and community trust allows our families to reach their goals faster, increase on-site programming and positively impact public health concerns across the City. 30 of our clients participated in GED classes this year. 268 fathers were actively engaged with their families, classes and programs. We met our goals of serving over 1,000 people 2 months before our goal. We spent the year looking at our data alongside the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Carson Research Group, Phillip ME Garboden, and Baltimore City Health Department. We are better prepared to make data driven decisions not only for ourselves but for the families we serve. For example, with new data, we are using our Community Action Network to advocate for our clients who struggle to find safe housing. We know that 65% of Baltimore’s female-headed households with kids spend more than 45% of their income for housing. We also know that this type of burden is too much and forces families to cut down on other necessary expenses (ex diapers, food) that can have negative effects on child outcomes and quality of life.

Joy Twesigye

Dorothy Reed Board Officers: Dorothy Reed, MBA, Chair Joyce Carla Farrington, M.Ed.,

OTR Vice Chair Mary Sue Welcome, Esquire,


Thanks to your generous support, the infant mortality rate in Baltimore has dropped to an historic low of 8.4 from when we were founded in 1991. Your contributions of time, talent and funds have allowed us to invest in Baltimore’s families for 25 years and be part of the communities we serve.

Sarah Rose, MBA, Treasurer

Board Members: Leana Wen, MD MSc

As we plan for the year ahead, we are reminded, there is still work to be done. The disparity between the infant mortality rate for white babies and black babies is still miles apart at 5.4 and 9.7 respectively.

Robert Oliver Atlas, MD Alex Blum, MD, MPH

On behalf of our leadership team, staff and Board, I thank you for another year of support, and for your belief in our incredible future.

2003 1 of 6 network sites across the country to be part of the NIH Community Child Health Network (CCHN) through

community-based participatory research processes.

Beatrice Scott, BA Gena White O’Keefe, MD Francine J, Childs, BS

Joy Twesigye, MS, MPP, WHNP-BC Executive Director



Hired a Certified Nurse Practitioner to provide clinic and home based family planning and wellness support

Initiated the onsite Early Childhood Development program

2005, 2007, 2008 Expanded program to additional neighborhoods

(Baltimore City Health Department Designee)






Initiated Belly Buddies® a stress reduction prenatal care program

Added evidence based Healthy Families America as a home visiting program

Selected as a Service Delivery Innovation by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Placed Community Health Workers in 2 Federally Qualified Health Centers, Healthy Families America

25th Anniversary of Healthy Start

program became accredited

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.

Voices The ultimate goal of Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. is to provide a nurturing, caring, and transformational childhood experience that will inspire our citizens to grow, motivate them to succeed, and desire to make a difference in their community. But don’t just take our word for it, listen to the voices of those whose lives have been impacted by what we do.

“I thank God I came to Baltimore and found Healthy Start because I wouldn’t have gotten the help I need back at home.”

Idalia Murillo As an immigrant from Honduras, Idalia Murillo knows the true meaning of the phrase a “healthy start.” About two years after arriving in Baltimore, she found out she was pregnant with a second child. She also found out how important it is to receive the proper care. When she delivered her first baby, a boy, in her native country she says she didn’t get much help. “You just go to the doctor when you’re ready to have your baby.” But she also didn’t need much help because his birth was not complicated. The second time around, however, things were much different. The new baby was born premature, with health issues and learning problems. Fortunately, she had decided to enroll in our home visiting program when she was three months pregnant, and that has made all the difference. “I thank God I came to Baltimore and found Healthy Start because I wouldn’t have gotten the help I need back at home,” she said. Specifically, Idalia now has health insurance to cover the cost of special needs care and medication provided at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. “I also get home visits once a month from my care coordinator and diapers, food and formula when I need them,” she adds. “I could not do this alone and I don’t know what would have happened to me and my baby if I had not been visited at home by someone from Baltimore Healthy Start.”

Idalia Murillo and son Eric

We Deliver! We are proud to report that in 2016, we reached our goal of serving 1,000 moms and babies two months ahead of schedule. That means we are capable of taking care of more families than we have done for the past 25 years. Other 2016 highlights •

Single largest home-visiting partner with B’More for Healthy Babies

Offered new transformative breastfeeding class—Milk Mates

Transportation to medical appointment and Healthy Start classes provided

Provided food and formula for our struggling families

20% of the students in our onsite GED classes were Healthy Start clients

Collaborated with Department of Social Services to maximize family success

Enrolled families in the Governor’s Young Reader’s Initiative

Trained childhood development specialists worked with children while parents are in class

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

Leadership Our Community Action Network is advocating for our clients who struggle to find safe housing. We know that 65% of Baltimore’s female-headed households with kids spend more than 45% of their income for housing. This type of burden is too much and forces families to cut down on other necessary expenses like diapers and food that can have negative effects on child outcomes and quality of life. We are active members of Baltimore City’s Fetal and Infant Mortality Review and Child Fatality Review Boards. We also share data with home visiting programs citywide at BabyStat. This allows for effective communication across programs and increases our collective impact across the City.

We offer: Two home visiting programs: the Federal Healthy Start Program and Healthy Families America Wellness services, including family planning (in home or at the center), preventive screenings to identify early pregnancy complications (IPV, smoking etc.), mental health and other health screenings, with appropriate referrals, Belly Buddies, and Sister Circle Family and community engagement, such as transportation to health care appointments and center services; child-care for parents during classes/events at the center; GED classes; a Parent Leadership Group; a store; monthly events and more Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. recruits pregnant and postpartum women with a child less than six months llees to a Neighborhood Health Advocate or Family Support Worker, a staff member who performs home visits and provides necessary, individualized support to the family until the newborn reaches 24 or 36 months of age (depending on the program).

“Not only did she begin to receive what she needed to prepare for the baby — she also got the care she needed for herself.”


Shalene Wallace

Shalene Wallace A single mother with three daughters, Shalene Wallace says she’s a firm believer in the old adage, “You never know until you try.” That’s because one day, about two years ago, more than threequarters of the way through her third pregnancy, she found a note about Sister Circle hanging on her doorknob. Although she didn’t know what the program was, and wasn’t thinking she needed help — after all, she had not received assistance from Baltimore Healthy Start with the first two pregnancies — she decided to call the number on the flyer anyway. And what a big difference that little decision made on her life. Shalene, who had just gone on leave from her job as a private duty nurse, says her pregnancy was different from the others. “It was unexpected, and I was depressed and not feeing myself,” she admits. “I was just in a place in my life where i needed the help.” So she joined the monthly group. Not only did she begin to receive what she needed to prepare for the baby — “a Pack ’n Play, clothes, diapers, whatever stuff I needed” — she also got the care she needed for herself. “Sister Circle helped me work on my life goals to improve who I am,” says Shalene, who took some job-related classes and is now working toward a more advanced patientcare career. “I’m so glad I called that number,” she says. “Joining a group where you talk about your problems was a blessing. You learn that you are not by yourself, that you have other people in your corner who can help you succeed at just about anything.”

Where We Are Healthy Start is rooted in the community. We provide a forum for the community “voice” in efforts to improve the health of mothers and babies. 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) in order to address the needs of high-risk women and their families before, during, and after pregnancy.

You can find our recruiters canvassing neighborhoods to enroll clients year round. Our staff attend a host of health fairs and back to school events during the summer. If you are there—we try to be there too!

We operate out of four locations: • Our full-service community center in East Baltimore, 610 North Chester Street • Forest Park/Walbrook, 2300 Garrison Boulevard • Morrell Park/Violetville, 1805 Wickes Avenue • and Total Health Care, 1501 Division St., only for clients of Total Health Care

Felina Johnson Although not new to motherhood, Felina Johnson says her most recent pregnancy felt “like the first time.” That’s because Felina, who has three children already, ages 16, 11 and 9, decided to enroll with Baltimore Healthy Start to receive assistance with the fourth. “Once I joined the program, I found out that I didn’t know too much about babies,” she says with a smile. “For example, I didn’t breastfeed my other children and didn’t know what to do, so they taught me. It’s been really interesting to learn so much.” Other new experiences include learning to practice yoga, to help with relaxation during and after labor and delivery, and the importance of eating a nutritious diet for healthy breastfeeding. “I got the chance to feel my body in new ways, to get in tune with myself,” she says. Another, equally important benefit of joining Baltimore Healthy Start is having the chance to take time for herself. “I had always wanted to finish school but never could because of my living arrangements and my kids,” Felina says. “When Healthy Start offered the GED program, I decided to take advantage of it. I could enroll my child and enroll myself. This experience has been stunning.” She says getting a GED will help her realize her dream of becoming a daycare provider, something she’s thought about since childhood. “I had a vision but never knew how I could make it come true,” she says. “Now I make that happen because of Baltimore Healthy Start. This place has opened my eyes to a whole lot of stuff that I had never known about.”

“I had a vision but never knew how I could make it come true. . . This place has opened my eyes to a whole lot of stuff that I had never known about.�

Felina Johnson and daughter Sky

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

Equity Matters Green and Healthy Homes Health Care Access Maryland

Current Funders and Foundation Supporters

United HealthCare

House of Ruth

Public Agencies

Baltimore City Health Department

Maryland Food Bank

Baltimore City Health Department

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program

Martin Luther King, Jr., Early Head Start

Family League of Baltimore

Baltimore City WIC Program

Maryland Home Visiting Alliance

Health Resources and Services Administration-Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene -Behavioral Health

Mercy Supportive Housing

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

Park Heights Community Health Alliance

Morris A. Mechanic Foundation, Inc. Network and Associations National Healthy Start Association B’More for Healthy Babies

New Vision House of Hope

Sisters Together and Reaching

Home Visiting Alliance/Consortium

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

Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition

Enoch Pratt Free Library

St. Mark’s United Church of Christ

Medical and Behavioral Health Care Providers

Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers

St. Mary The Virgin Church

Baltimore Medical Systems

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

Maryland Birth Network

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 Care First Blue Cross/Blue Shield Priority Partners

Home Visiting Programs Healthy Start Programs Nationwide Baltimore Medical System Bon Secours Baltimore Health System

St. Francis Xavier Head Start St. Jerome’s Head Start

Tench Tilghman Elementary/ Middle School Local Businesses Glade Creek Hogan Lovells, U.S., LLP Oh Taste Lactation Omni Elevator Company

DRU/Mondawmin Healthy Families

Academic and National Partners

The Family Tree

Baltimore City Community College

Maryland Family Network

Epsilon Omega Chapter, AKA

Maternal and Infant Care/Baltimore City Health Department

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Community Based Organizations

March of Dimes (Maryland/D.C.)

Associated Black Charities

Morgan State University School of Community Health & Policy

Black Nurses Association Center for Urban Families Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning

2014-2015 and 2016-2017 Financials are available online.

National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition National Healthy Start Association

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

BHS 2015 annual report  
BHS 2015 annual report