The Healthy Beginnings program combines two models, Healthy Families America and Healthy Steps for Youth children, and expands home visiting services to vulnerable, high risk mothers and families and embeds child development specialists into well-child visits from the child's 0 - 3 years to support all parents (with or without previously identified risk factors).
Chelsea ranks fourth in Massachusetts for low birth weight, infant mortality, high teen pregnancies and indicators of poor maternal and child health outcomes. The following programs are designed to improve these outcomes.
Healthy Families America at MGH Chelsea
Healthy Families is a home visitor service provided to first-time parents including those newly arrived in this country. The program runs from pregnancy through the child’s third birthday. Bi-cultural home visitors go to the homes of high-risk pregnant women and new mothers and provide emotional and concrete support for the participants and families who are adjusting to a new culture and health care system. We aim to empower mothers in a culturally appropriate manner to help them find effective solutions and reduce parental stress.
Healthy Steps at MGH Chelsea
Healthy Steps has three Infant-Parent Specialists who accompany first-time parents to every well-child visit from birth to age three. The specialists enhance the information and services available to parents at the well-child visits by engaging parents in discussions of child development, parenting, and relationships. The specialists have training in child development and address behavioral and developmental issues, focusing on a whole baby-whole family brand of primary care. This approach is being implemented in pediatric and family practices across the country, and is meeting an array of community needs while preserving its unique linkage to a team of health care professionals.
- Healthy Beginnings served 111 families; 68% of families were Latino; 26% were born in El Salvador, 13% in the United State, 11% in Honduras, 11% in Somalia, 39% were born in other countries.
- 91% of Healthy Beginnings staff report observing positive interactions between parent and baby; 75% of encounters between Healthy Beginnings staff and families focused on Child Development and Developmental Milestones.
- 89% of participants report reading, singing or telling stories to their child 4-7 days a week.
Healthy Beginnings staff were present at 84% of Well Child Visits, 75% of encounters between Healthy Beginnings staff and families focused on Child Development and Developmental Milestones.
Phone: 617 887-3789