Healthy Start works to reduce infant mortality rates (the rate at which babies die before their first birthday). The infant mortality rates for African American residents in west Louisville neighborhoods are more than double the rate of the Louisville Metro area (5.6) as a whole, and more than triple the rate for Caucasian residents in Metro Louisville. Babies born in these ZIP codes (40203, 40208, 40210, 40211, and 40212) also suffer greater rates of low birth weights and miscarriages.
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The goals of the Healthy Start program include helping moms in these ZIP codes have healthy pregnancies, deliver healthy and full-term babies. Important determinants of racial differences in infant mortality are low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) and very low birth weight (less than 3.3 pounds).
Infant mortality is an indicator of the health of a community and its mothers. It represents many factors that affect infant deaths. These factors include the general health of pregnant women; their ability to access prenatal care; the care that they receive during and after delivery; care provided to the newborn; and the care the infant receives when he or she goes home.
Download our Healthy Start fact sheet (English and Spanish versions)
Our target neighborhoods
Healthy Start approaches pregnant women in the target neighborhoods through home visits and other outreach methods to make sure that women begin prenatal-care during the first three months of pregnancy and that they continue to get consistent care throughout pregnancy and after delivery.
Healthy Start continues to work with families after the birth of the baby until 18 months through such programs as parenting classes, helping them with skills, and understanding the development of their babies through their first years of life.
Healthy Start operates out of the Bridges of Hope and Northwest Neighborhood Place sites. Healthy Start serves residents living in Smoketown, Old Louisville, Portland, Russell, Shawnee, Park DuValle, Park Hill, Parkland, and Algonquin neighborhoods.
Healthy Start is administered in partnership with the community councils of the Bridges of Hope and Northwest Neighborhood Places. These councils are comprised of residents of the areas served by the three Neighborhood Places so that those living in the Healthy Start areas participate in shaping services to meet the needs of each neighborhood.
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