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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 is a Home Visiting Program 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 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. The program aims to empower mothers in a culturally appropriate manner to help them find effective solutions and reduce parental stress, strengthen parent-child relationships, promote healthy childhood growth and development and enhancing family functioning by reducing risk and building protective factors.
Healthy Steps has three Infant-Parent Specialists who accompany first-time parents to every well-child visit from birth to age three. The specialists help inform the parents of services available at the well-child visits and also engage 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 baby-whole family brand of 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 healthcare professionals.
Maria Yolanda Wigozki
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