Mother Holding Baby for the First Step

Program Purpose

Greater Harrisburg Healthy Start seeks to reduce adverse outcomes to pregnant and postpartum women and improve the following statistics:

Healthy Start exists for communities that experience an average of 15 out of 1000 live births dying before their first birthday.  The Greater Harrisburg Healthy Start program grants awards primarily in the Harrisburg/Steelton area due to their stats being 17.9/1000 births dying before the age of one.

In 2007, there were 1,058 births in the city of Harrisburg. 75% of these births were to unwed mothers and 18% were to mothers age 19 and under.

From 2004-2006, there were 335 low-birth weight (less than 2500 grams is equal More >

Black woman with child

Background for Providers


Originally established in 1991, 15 locations around the country were funded as HS Demonstration Projects. Since then, the program has been authorized and has grown to include 104 communities in 38 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Communities that are served by HS have large minority populations with high rates of unemployment, poverty and major crime.  Parents at highest risk for adverse perinatal health outcomes typically have less than a high school education, low income and limited access to safe housing.  Within their community, the number of perinatal providers is limited; regular access to these providers is More >

Program Description For Providers

Program Description:

Based on the premise that community-driven strategies are needed to address factors contributing to infant mortality, low birth weight, and other adverse perinatal outcomes in high-risk populations, Healthy Start (HS) projects focus on improving maternal and child health outcomes by increasing access to and use of health services for women and their families while strengthening local health systems and increasing consumer input into these systems of local care. Indeed, a unique program hallmark is Healthy Start’s focus on developing and mobilizing strong community coalitions, local and state governments, the private sector, providers, and neighborhood organizations.

To reduce the factors More >