In This Issue:
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Strong Start | Healthy Start is an initiative of the Ingham County Health Department to enhance the health of African-American families and improve birth outcomes in Ingham County. We provide services which include home visiting for expectant and parenting moms and dads with a child up to age two. We also offer free health education workshops that are open to educate pregnant and parenting women, men, families, and the community.

Health Officer
Ingham County Health Department

Deputy Health Officer
Ingham County Health Department

Regina TraylorMSN, RN, CNS
Director, Maternal Child Health Division
Program Supervisor
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Crystal P. TylerPHD, MPH

Strong Start | Healthy Start Evaluation

Program Director, Center for Child and Family Health

Michigan Public Health Institute

Alysia Osoff, RN, MSN, CEN

Senior Public Health Nurse- Perinatal

Health Educator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Fatherhood Facilitator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Health Worker
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Danika Davis
Peer Advisor

LaShawn Sinclaire
Peer Advisor

Administrative Support
Maternal Child Health Division

Quick Links

Departmental and Community Partners
Department of Human Services, Ingham County

Expectant Parent's Organization

Family Outreach Services, Ingham County Health Department

Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute

Infant Mortality Coalition

Ingham County Health Department

Ingham Great Start Collaborative

Ingham Healthy Families

Ingham Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Greater Lansing Clergy Forum

Great Parents, Great Start Program

Lansing Housing Commission

League of Women Voters

Maternal Infant Health Program, Ingham County Health Department

McLaren of Greater Lansing

Michigan Public Health Institute

Michigan State University, College of Nursing

Nurse Family Partnership, Ingham County Health Department

Parent-Infant Program

Pathways to Better Health
Power of We Consortium

Shared Pregnancy Women's Center

South Side Community Coalition

Sparrow Health System

Tomorrow's Child

Willow Tree Family Center
ICHD Welcomes Alysia Osoff, RN, MSN, CEN
Senior Public Health Nurse, Fetal Infant Mortality Review Coordinator

Alysia Osoff, RN, MSN, CEN has joined the Strong Start | Healthy Start team as our Senior Public Health Nurse- Perinatal effective Monday, May 4, 2015. Her primary responsibilities consist of engaging the Ingham County perinatal community in order to share infant mortality data and collaborate with providers to offer education and outreach to perinatal women.  Alysia also serves as the Fetal Infant Mortality (FIMR) Coordinator, providing regular review of fetal and infant deaths in our community.


The Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Program is modeled after the National FIMR Program of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The FIMR Program is a method for understanding the health care system and social problems that contribute to preventable fetal and infant deaths, and for identifying and implementing local interventions to rectify the identified problems. The FIMR Program empowers local community members to take the necessary steps to improve fetal and infant mortality within their own communities. It is a community-based, action-oriented process with the intent to improve health and social services for families.  


Alysia received her Master of Science in Nursing degree in 2015 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2000.  She possesses over fifteen years of experience as a registered nurse with eight of those years in nursing education.  She has a passion for community empowerment and advocacy and is excited about her role with Strong Start | Healthy Start.  She most recently held the position of Adjunct Associate Professor, Simulation Laboratory at Lansing Community College. 


Please join Strong Start | Healthy Start in welcoming Alysia in her new role! Her contact information is below:


Alysia Osoff, RN, MSN, CEN

Senior Public Health Nurse- Perinatal

Strong Start | Healthy Start Program

Ingham County Health Department

5303 S. Cedar Street

Lansing, MI 48909

Direct: 517.272.4110

Mobile: 517.582.8003  |  Fax: 517.887.4384


Strong Start | Healthy Start Program Updates
Effective Black Parenting Training and Certification

This month, Strong Start | Healthy Start staff were Washington, DC attending the Effective Black Parenting training and receiving certification in order to implement this framework as part of the service-delivery model in Ingham County. The Center for the Improvement of Child Caring's Effective Black Parenting Program (EBPP) is the country's first culturally-adapted and evidence-based parenting skill-building program for parents of African-American children, and is endorsed by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the National Healthy Start Association.



The following is a listing of the full content of the Effective Black Parenting Program, which Strong Start | Healthy Start staff are now trained and certified to implement in home visits and deliver in group settings.

  1. Culturally-Specific Parenting Strategies  
    • Achievement Orientation to Parenting: The Pyramid of Success for Black Children 
    • Traditional Black Discipline vs. Modern Black Self- Discipline 
    • Pride in Blackness: Positive Communications about Heritage, Coping with Racism, Avoiding Black Self-Disparagement 
    • Finding Special Times for All of Our Children: Chit Chat Time
  2. General Parenting Strategies
    • Social Learning Ideas and Pinpointing and Counting Behavior 
    • The Thinking Parent's Approach 
    • Family Rules Are Like A Coin, and Family Rule Guidelines 
    • Children's Developing Abilities 
    • Children's Thinking Stages and the Development Swing between Belonging and Independence
  3. Basic Parenting Skills Taught in a Culturally- Sensitive Manner, Using African American Language Expressions and African Proverbs 
    • Effective Praise 
    • Mild Social Disapproval 
    • Ignoring 
    • Time Out 
    • Special Incentives 
    • Special Program Topics 
    • Single Parenting 
    • Preventing Drug Abuse.

For more information about our services, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322 or visit
Governor Snyder Issues Proclamation
National Minority Health Month

Governor Rick Snyder issued a proclamation declaring April Minority Health Month in Michigan. During National Minority Health Month in April, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health (OMH) joins with its partners in raising public awareness about health and health care disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities and efforts to advance health equity.

The Governor further highlighted ICHD's Strong Start | Healthy Start for its work in eliminating health disparities and advancing health equity to reduce racial and ethnic disparities.
The theme for National Minority Health Month 2015 is "30 Years of Advancing Health Equity | The Heckler Report: A Force for Ending Health Disparities in America." This theme commemorates the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) efforts towards eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities that were mobilized by the findings from the Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health, commonly referred to as the Heckler Report. Read more.

For more information about National Minority Health Month and to obtain a copy of the Heckler Report, visit: 
Home Visiting Program
By The Numbers








Refer Someone Today!


For more information about our Home Visiting Initiative, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322.

Home Visits
Participant Spotlight: Donte Dupard

Since February 2015, Strong Start | Healthy Start has enrolled over 81 fathers and expectant fathers into our program.  The need and demand for services is astounding and drives our team to continue to positively impact families in Ingham County. One of those family's story is highlighted below.


[By: Jonathan Lawrence, Fatherhood Facilitator]


Congratulations to Donte on becoming a father of a beautiful baby boy!! Donte is an amazing father and always goes above and beyond to raise his son in a way that he believes is right. Donte is extremely involved with his son, and does a great job of co-parenting with the mother of his son. He enjoys the sessions out of the 24/7 Dads curriculum and has been inspired to invite some of his friends with children to be apart of the program.  Donte also expresses that the Dads Matter case management services have been pivotal in providing access to father-child activities, and linking him to resources that strengthen his role as a father and promote healthy and responsible behaviors.


Donte Dupard

Strong Start | Healthy Start Participant



Dupard Family Fatherhood Case Manager:

Jonathan Lawrence




 Refer Someone Today!


For more information about our Home Visiting Initiative, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322.

Dads Matter Initiative
NEW: Dads Matter Workshop Schedule (June 2015 - December 2015)

Father's all across the globe play a very significant role in the growth and development of their children. There are many roles that a father plays when it comes to the entire family well-being. When the fatherhood initiative first began one of the main focuses was to find fathers that were not present in their children's lives and to encourage them to be apart. As the program is progressing, we are finding that there are more fathers present in their children' s lives than not, therefore the focus has shifted. 


The term "Dad's Matter" resonates well with the fathers we serve. The 81 fathers that are part of our program enjoy all of the services they receive from Strong Start | Healthy Start. Fathers receive individual case management and have learned more about being a father from the National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 DadŽ curriculum with topic such as "What It Means to Be a Man". These topics facilitate a conversation, and challenge fathers to think beyond what they think a father is on a daily basis. 



To download the full June 2015 - December 2015 workshop schedule, click here.

For more information about our Dad's Matter Initiative, contact Jonathan Lawrence via e-mail at or by phone at 517-449-6046.
Taking the Field to Support Healthy Children and Families
Battlefield Brawl 2015
Our Strong Start | Healthy Start, Dads Matter Initiative partnered with former MSU and NFL football star, Todd Duckett, in Battlefield Brawl to support healthy children and families. Our dads had the opportunity to play alongside Todd Duckett, Andre Hutson, Al Martin and many other X Factors (local sports celebrities). Many current and former MSU football players, such as Alonzo White and Trae Waynes, were also in attendance.

Our Strong Start | Healthy Start dads participated in the 7 on 7 flag football elimination tournament and their children participated in the Health & Fitness Foundation's FUN ZONE, which encourages an active lifestyle! Moms and children experienced jump roping, rock climbing, a bounce house, bubble zone, Hula Hoop show down and much more!

Our team performed exceptionally well, beating the MSU Ski Club 34-24 and Great Fruit 26-20. Our dads scored over 100 points in total offense in all 3 games. This is a great outcome for our first year participating in the Battlefield Brawl. Read more.


 Refer someone today!

For more information about our Dad's Matter Initiative, contact Jonathan Lawrence via e-mail at or by phone at 517-449-6046.
Health Education Initiative
NEW: Health Education Workshop Schedule (June 2015 - December 2015)

Strong Start | Healthy Start holds Health Education workshops throughout Greater Lansing. Currently there are four standing workshops that are open to the public. Workshops are held at Hildebrandt on Monday's from 4:00pm-5:00pm (3122 Turner Street, Lansing), GLAAHI on Tuesday's from 4:00pm-5:00pm (1220 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing), Southside Community Coalition on Wednesday's from 5:30pm-6:30pm (2101 W. Holmes Road, Lansing), and Mt. Vernon on Thursday's from 1:30pm-2:30pm (338 N. Waverly Road, Lansing). 


We serve light food and refreshments, provide childcare, transportation assistance, and offer door prizes. Each week is dedicated to one topic. Our health education topics are expansive and include subjects like breastfeeding, budgeting 101, preventing HIV/STIs,and stress reduction, family planning, CPR training, and many more. Health Education workshops endwith a referral option to our Community Health Workers for home visiting, the creation of peer support and new, healthier goals. 



To download the full June 2015 - December 2015 workshop schedule, click here.


Refer someone today!

For more information about our Health Education Initiative, contact Dana Watson via e-mail at or by phone at 517-512-3074. 
National Men's Health Month
"Awareness. Prevention. Education. Family."

Anchored by a Congressional health education program, Men's Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.  National Men's Health Month is usually celebrated the week leading up to Father's Day, which is June 15-21, 2015. During this week, individuals, families, communities, and others work to promote healthy living among men and boys.


The purpose of Men's Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.  Read More. 

To learn more about National Men.s Health Month or to learn about events in your local community visit:
Upcoming Events
Dad's Matter Workshops
2nd Wednesday's of the Month
3:00PM - 4:00PM
South Washington Park, Community Room
3200 South Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI

4th Thursday's of the Month
5:30PM - 6:30PM
Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute
Letts Community Center
1220 West Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI

For more information and to register, contact Jonathan Lawrence at 517-449-6046. Click here for the full workshop schedule.
Health Education Workshops
1st Monday's of the Month 
4:00PM - 5:00PM
Hildebrandt Park, Community Room
3122 Turner Street, Lansing, MI

2nd Tuesday's of the Month  
4:00PM - 5:00PM
Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute
Letts Community Center
2120 West Kalamazoo, Lansing, MI

3rd Wednesday's of the Month  
5:30PM - 6:30PM
Southside Community Coalition
2101 West Holmes Road, Lansing, MI

4th Thursday's of the Month  
1:30PM - 2:30PM
Mt. Vernon Park, Community Room
338 North Waverly Road, Lansing, MI

For more information and to register, contact Dana Watson at 517-512-3074. Click here for the full workshop schedule.
Ingham County WIC Infant Feeding Classes
Every Tuesday
10:00AM and 2:00PM
Ingham County Health Department
5303 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI

To register for class or for more information, call the WIC Breastfeeding Help Line at 517-887-4543.
Healthy Beginnings Childbirth Education Classes
Description: A six-week prenatal class offered at the ICHD. Class topics will focus on: labor/delivery, newborn care and feeding, postpartum care, family planning, healthy behaviors, exercise/relaxation and nutrition.

Eligibility: First-time mothers who are Medicaid eligible and their support person.
Contact: Public Health Services 517-887-4322, Sarah Rowe at

Participants who complete the childbirth education course will receive a free infant car seat.

Ingham County Health Department
5303 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI
Infant Mortality Coalition Meeting
Thursday, June 25, 2015
1:30PM - 3:30PM

Atrium Conference Room, Ingham County Human Services Building
5303 S. Cedar Street, Lansing, MI

The Infant Mortality Coalition attempts to address infant health disparities and ultimately reduce inequities in infant mortality in Ingham County. The overarching goal of the initiative is to keep mothers and infants alive and well before, during and after birth.  The Infant Mortality Coalition meets on the 4th Thursday of every month, from 1:30-3:30pm at the Ingham County Health Department, 5303 S Cedar in Lansing.

For more information and to register, click here.
Dads Matter Day at the Lansing Lugnuts
Thursday, June 25, 2015
6:00PM - 9:00PM

Lansing Lugnuts Stadium
505 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI

A day to celebrate dads and bring other father-serving organizations, fathers and their children together for a fun and collaborative event.  60 complimentary tickets will be made available and transportation will be provided from the Ingham County Health Department.  Organizations meeting begins at 6:00pm with a keynote speech from T.J. Tyus starting at 6:30pm about the importance of fatherhood.  Baseball game starts at 7:05PM.

For more information, click here.
The State of Men's Health: Mind, Body, & Spirit
Saturday, June 27, 2015
10:00AM - 2:00PM

Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute
1220 West Kamalazoo Street, Lansing, MI

June is Men's Health Month! GLAAHI proudly presents its first annual men's health event "The State of Men's Health: Mind, Body & Spirit", that will highlight the importance of mental, physical and spiritual health, as well as how the greater Lansing community contributes to healthy lifestyles. This very special event will feature a health fair and a panel discussion featuring experts in their respective fields.

For more information and to register, click here.
Cuts and Convos Day at Letts Community Center
Thursday, July 23, 2015
2:00PM - 4:00PM

Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute
Letts Community Center
1220 West Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI

Strong Start | Healthy Start is partnering with Cuts and Convos for a terrific community outreach event. On Tuesday, July 23, 2015 from 2:00pm - 4:00pm, Cuts and Convos will join us at the Greater Lansing African-American Health Institute, (1220 W. Kalamazoo St, Lansing) during our monthly Dads Matter workshop.


Cuts and Convos will provide the typical services, which include free haircuts, barbering, and beauty services. Additionally, Cuts and Convos will have Professor Catherine Grosso from the Michigan State University College of Law come in and talk about policing- knowing your rights when you come in contact with law enforcement- to South Lansing residents. Professor Grosso focuses her work on criminal law, and capital punishment.

Free food, lots of music, tons of door prizes and giveaways, childcare, and transportation assistance if needed.


For more information about Cuts and Convos, visit:


For more information about Strong Start | Healthy Start,

3rd Annual Home Visiting Conference: Engage, Educate, Empower
August 6-7, 2015
8:00AM - 6:00PM
Detroit Mariott at the Renaissance Center
400 Renaissance Drive, Detroit, MI

The 2015 Michigan Home Visiting Conference is for home visitors, administrators, and parents in Michigan's home visiting programs. The purpose of the conference is to increase knowledge of home visiting models, identify strategies to enhance home visiting practices, and to increase skills on current quality improvement methods.

The 2015 Michigan Home Visiting Conference theme is Engage, Educate, Empower. It will be held over two full days to minimize your time away from your visitation schedule. Session topics will cover the following areas of interest: engagement, education, empowerment and infrastructure for home visitors, parents and supervisors.

For more information and to register, click here .
Maternal Child Health Division 3rd Annual Family Appreciation Day
Saturday, August 15, 2015
11:00AM - 2:00PM
Hawk Island Park
1601 East Cavanaugh Road, Lansing, MI

A fun day for the community and Maternal Child Health Division families to show our appreciation.  Health screening, Yoga & Zumba demonstrations, free food, music, prizes, giveaways, bounce houses, splash pad, and more!

For more information, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322. Download the flier here.
2015 Healthy Start Convention
November 16-18, 2015
8:00AM - 5:00PM
Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC

This meeting is mandatory for Healthy Start grantees.
Grantees are allowed to use federal funds for travel
and are encouraged to bring 2 to 3 staff to this event. More details coming soon.

For more information, contact the Healthy Start Epic Center at
Healthy Start In The News
ICHD, Strong Start | Healthy Start Receives ADDY and MarCom Awards

Strong Start | Healthy Start Campaign is the recipient of Gold Awards at the 2015 Mid-Michigan ADDY Awards and the Platinum Award at the 2014 MarCom Awards. The ADDYs are considered the world's largest advertising competition that recognizes creative excellent in all forms of media and design. The MarCom Awards are on the of the largest annual international creative competitions for marketing and communications professionals. 

Hats off to our partners, Redhead Design Studio and the other contributors to this successful campaign. Read more.  To peruse through some of the great marketing assets, visit our website at 
$9M Awarded to Strong Beginning In Grands Rapids to Help Latino, African-American Babies Get Healthy Start

Strong Beginnings, a West Michigan program that aims to provide babies with a healthy start in life, has received more than $9 million to expand outreach among African American and Latino families. The program will receive $4.3 million over five years from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to improve maternal and child health among Latinos in Kent County through its program, Familias Fuertes y Saludables.

The program also was chosen for a $4.9 million, five-year grant from the Health Resources Administration to increase its capacity to serve African American women, men and their children. 
Read More. 
Babies to Be Given a Healthy Start in Panama City, FL

Healthy Start held their 10th annual World's Greatest Baby Shower on April 9at the First United Methodist Church in Panama City. The baby shower was free to residents of Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties who were pregnant or had a baby within the last six months and their family members. The 600 people in attendance had the opportunity to visit 48 sponsor tables to learn about products and services available to them in our communities. Read More.
Healthy Start Celebrates "Soft" Opening in Escambia County, Florida
Theresa Chmiel knows moms in Northern Escambia County need more help, especially in the tiny town Century.About 40 percent of the estimated 1,700 people who live there, are at or below the poverty line. Most of those are single moms heading up the household. As executive director of Escambia Healthy Start Coalition, Chmiel hopes to help give many the support they need to raise healthy families when the clinic opens Wednesday. Read More. 
Legislative Updates
US Senator Calls for Enrollment Period to Make Sure Pregnant Women Have Access to Prenatal and Maternity Care
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Finance Committee's Health Subcommittee, urged the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure pregnant women have full access to the comprehensive, affordable health coverage guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Sen. Stabenow and 36 other Democratic Senators called for an enrollment period for women who become pregnant at a time outside of open enrollment and are uninsured, or enrolled in a grandfathered plan that does not cover maternity services. Pregnancy would be a "qualifying life event," like marriage, divorce, a job change, or birth, which allow people to add or remove others from their health plans. Read More. 
Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act Introduced

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the bipartisan Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act of 2015 to improve maternity care for women and newborns, and reduce health care costs. The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Jack Reed (D-RI).

Senator Stabenow said: "We all have a stake in making sure women and children have the health care they need from the very start of a pregnancy. This bill invests in the doctors, nurses, midwives and other maternity care providers who help make sure moms and babies receive quality care from the doctor's office to the delivery room." Read More. 

Text4baby for Healthy Start Professionals
Text4baby provides your clients with critical health and safety information. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, text4baby is a free texting service for pregnant women and moms with infants under one. To sign up, women text BABY (or BEBE in Spanish) to 511411 and receive three free text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby's date of birth. There is no cost to sign up. Even if a woman does not have a text messaging plan, she can receive text4baby for free. Results from the first text4baby evaluation indicate that it increases users' health knowledge, facilitates interaction with their health providers, improves their adherence to appointments and immunizations, and improves their access to health services.  Learn More.
A Guide for Communities: Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Manual
This second edition of the FIMR Manual is designed to         
provide communities interested in developing a new FIMR program or continuing an existing FIMR program with a step by step guide for implementing FIMR and making systems change happen for women, infants and families through FIMR. It is intended to be a practical guide, based on the cumulative best practices of the many FIMR programs that have survived and thrived over the past two decades.
This Manual is also written with the understanding that many of the decisions that go into developing projects like FIMR are local in nature. There are many aspects to FIMR for which there are no right or wrong approaches, only the way that works best in a particular situation. On the other hand, in the experience of FIMR programs and the evidence from the national evaluation of FIMR, certain components of FIMR are better done one way than any other. This book points out the things that have worked best in most programs.  Read More. 
A National Network for Effective Home Visitation and Family Support Services
The federal Healthy Start Initiative has been an integral, though often unrecognized, part of this nation's health care safety net for 20 years. Federal Healthy Start has built its history and a substantial track record on serving vulnerable residents whose health and health care have been marginalized by virtue of race, gender, health status, economic status, and/or geography. Throughout its history, effective home visitation models have been deployed to achieve positive outcomes for some 524,484 women, children, and families in underserved urban and remote rural America. This impressive and steady growth has been accompanied by a relatively modest investment by the federal government with a return that has been at least as much in savings as was spent - savings resulting from projects moving low weight births to healthy higher weight births and thus avoiding expensive and lengthy hospital stays as well as the costs of continued care throughout the early years of life and possibly beyond. Read More.
The Social Emotional Development of Young Children
Social emotional development is a fundamental part of a child's overall health and well-being,as it both reflects and impacts upon the developing brain's wiring and function. Social emotional development is sometimes called early childhood mental health or infant mental health. It spans from how children interact with others to how they manage or cope with adversity and stress. Social emotional development within the first few years of life sets a precedent and prepares children to be self-confident, trusting, empathic, inquisitive, competent in using language to communicate, and capable of relating well to others. Read More.