|(LAFAYETTE, LA.) – On Thursday, March 21, 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded more than $100 million in grant funding through its Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health (known as Healthy Start). Administered by HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Healthy Start aims to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy; and, to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in rates of infant death as well as negative health outcomes in the first 18 months of life.|
Through Healthy Start, 100 organizations serving communities with infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the U.S. national average, and with high rates of other negative maternal and infant outcomes, will receive up to $1.1 million each year over five years. Grantees include public and private entities, as well as faith-based, community-based, and tribal organizations.
Louisiana received four awards totaling $4,040,000 annually. Grantees in Louisiana include; City of New Orleans, Crescent City WIC Services, Inc., Family Roads of Greater Baton Rouge and The Family Tree Information, Education and Counseling Center. The Family Tree will receive up to $980,000 each year to serve the seven parishes of Region 4: Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion.
"The Healthy Start Program provides information, resources, and in-home support to pregnant women and parents of children age 18 months and younger. This ensures a healthy pregnancy and helps moms and dads engage in nurturing parenting practices," said The Family Tree Executive Director, Marie Collins, LPC, LMFT, LAC. "This support is critical to addressing the significant racial and ethnic disparities in the rates of preterm birth and infant death in the Louisiana."
“The seed of The Family Tree was planted in 1979 for an agency to help create stronger families and ultimately, a stronger community. As we celebrate 40 years of service in the Acadina community, "We are proud that the Healthy Start Program has deep roots as part of a comprehensive array of specialized services,” says Marie Collins, Executive Director of The Family Tree.