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
Fetal & Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Board Coordinator

Health Educator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Fatherhood Facilitator
Strong Start | Healthy Start

Community Action Network Coordinator
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

LaShawn Sinclaire
Peer Advisor, Health Education

Rachel Reynolds
Peer Advisor, Health Education

Peer Advisor, Dads Matter Program

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
Welcome: Freddie Bills & Rachel Reynolds
Community Peer Advisors
We are delighted to share that Freddie Bills and Rachel Reynolds have joined the Strong Start | Healthy Start team as our Community Peer Advisors. Their primary responsibilities consist of recruiting neighborhood residents at Mt. Vernon, South Side Community Coalition, South Washington, South Lansing, and surrounding communities to participate in Healthy Start; organizing and planning group sessions aimed at reducing infant mortality and infant health disparities, meeting regularly with the Healthy Start team to discuss successes and challenges at designated site and implement changes as needed.
Freddie is from Memphis, Tennessee, but has lived in the Lansing community his entire life. He is a very active member of the community, with involvement in organizations such as Homeless Angels, Stop the Violence, and D&J Promotions, among others.  He is also the proud father of 2 daughters and 4 sons, so he is quite experienced when it comes to issues related to responsible fatherhood.  Additionally, Freddie is a small business owner, founding Bills Cleaning Solutions and Affordable Family Moving. Through his businesses and using his entrepreneurial skills, Freddie connects Lansing residents to employment opportunities to ensure family economic self-sufficiency.  

Rachel has lived in the Lansing community for several years. Prior to becoming a Peer Advisor for Healthy Start, she regularly attended Health Education workshops as a Healthy Start participant. Rachel has been active in her community and she helps get the word out about Strong Start | Healthy Start and the services that we offer. Rachel is the mother of an 11 year old daughter, so she relates very well to our workshop participants and brings a wealth of experience. Our Peer Advisor's involvement and outreach efforts help bring awareness about Healthy Start services to the community.
Please join Strong Start | Healthy Start in welcoming Rachel and Freddie in their new roles! Their contact information is below:
Freddie Bills & Rachel Reynolds
Community Peer Advisors
Strong Start | Healthy Start Program
Ingham County Health Department
5303 S. Cedar Street
Lansing, MI 48909
Direct: 517.887.4322
Fax: 517.887.4384
Strong Start | Healthy Start Program Updates
Healthy Start Hosts Fatherhood Dialogues at Letts and South Washington
On September 18 and November 18, 2015, Healthy Start brought fathers together to have real and inspirational dialogues on what we, as a community, can do to make sure that fathers have all of the supports, information, and connections that they need to be in healthier relationships, adopt more responsible behaviors, and be more present for their kids. This was the beginning of great collaborative and unified work around fatherhood in Mid-Michigan. 

The men that attended were identified as fathers in our community, key stakeholders, and community leaders who are committed to child well-being, supporting fathers, and strengthening families.  They are also committed to improving the well-being of children in our community by increasing the proportion of children with involved, responsible, and committed fathers in their lives.  

The dialogues, held at Letts Community Center and South Washington Apartments, were facilitated by Jessica Yorko, Health Equity & Social Justice Coordinator for the Ingham County Health Department. This process allowed fathers present to reflect on a collective vision and define what they need to do to create a viable community in which dads are refining and developing the skills and receiving the encouragement and supports that they need to succeed and to be the kinds of dads their children need them to be. 
The full September 2015 facilitated dialogue report can be accessed here.
Photos from the South Washington Apartments Fatherhood Dialogue can be accessed here.

Thank you to our media partner, Power96.5FM, and Lovell Bland for working with us to spread the message about the importance of fatherhood and for empowering fathers to have their voices heard.

For more information about the Dads Matter Initiative, contact Jonathan Lawrence, Fatherhood Facilitator, at 517-449-6046 or visit
Healthy Start Hosts Open House/Resource Fair at LaRoy Froh Townhouses
Strengthened Partnership with Lansing Housing Commission
On November 20, 2015, Healthy Start, in collaboration with the Lansing Housing Commission, hosted a Healthy Start Open House/Resource Fair at LaRoy Froh Townhouses in Lansing, MI. A variety of community programs gathered to promote general health by providing resources and educational materials to the more than 65 people in attendance. There were free screenings for blood pressure provided by public health nurses from the Ingham County Health Department, as well as Zumba and Line Dance/Hustle instruction and fun!. 

The goal of the Open House/Resource Fair was to provide a collective forum in an effort to foster health promotion and prevention awareness for families and community members so that they may achieve their highest level of wellness and improve birth outcomes. The event was sponsored by the Ingham County Health Department, Healthy Start program. 
We would like to thank all of the vendors who attended and we appreciate their support and informative presentations.  Participants included: 
  • Nurse Family Partnership
  • Maternal Infant Health Program
  • Family Outreach Services
  • Strong Start | Healthy Start
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Willow Tree Family Center
  • Community Health Centers
  • Pathways to Better Health
Photos from the LaRoy Froh Healthy Start Open House can be accessed here.

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

Healthy Start Staff Completes WIC Breastfeeding Basics Training
Focus on Increased Breastfeeding Initiation and Continuation Rates
This month, the Healthy Start team completed the WIC Breastfeeding Basics training. The training, hosted by the Michigan Public Health Institute, provided information on the normal course of breastfeeding and also incorporated an opportunity to practice skills in breastfeeding promotion and support. Our team is ready and eager to put these skills to work in the community and to also engage dads in this process. 


This training is consistent with Accreditation Criteria/Management Evaluation (ACME) criteria.  All of our Healthy Start home visiting staff are now trained and equipped to:
  1. Discuss the normal course of breastfeeding;
  2. Discuss ways to tell that milk is getting into baby;
  3. Identify three types of weaning;
  4. Discuss how to increase comfort level in discussing breastfeeding;
  5. Describe how to create an opportunity to develop and practice skills in breastfeeding promotion and support;
  6. Identify barriers to breastfeeding;
  7. Discuss how to use open ended questions (LOVE technique) to address barriers in order to provide education;
  8. Identify common breastfeeding challenges/solutions to provide to mothers;
  9. Identify resources for promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding; and
  10. Demonstrate the 4 main breastfeeding positions/holds

For more information about our Home Visiting Initiative, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322 or visit
Healthy Start Co-Ed Softball Team Wraps Up Fall League
Lansing Parks & Recreation Adult Softball Leagues
After ten weeks of hard work, practice, and games, the Lansing Parks & Recreation Adult Softball League season wrapped up on Sunday, October 18. The league, which consisted of six teams this year, began on September 13, and played on Sundays. The Healthy Start Advocates team was coached by LaShawn Sinclair and Freddie Bills (Healthy Start Peer Advisors) and consisted of over 80% Healthy Start participants (mothers, fathers, and children), with staff also filling in roster spots occasionally. 

Why Physical Activity as Part of Ingham Healthy Start's Health Education Initiative?
Being physically active becomes a matter of social learning and an element of identity development, as children look and listen to others as models of who and what they might be and how they should engage the world. These models include: parents, relatives, other adults in the community, siblings and friends, and increasingly, popular culture. Low-income children and families have significantly less access to organized youth sports than their more advantaged peers, and the activities to which they do have access are more likely to be viewed as preventive or remedial interventions than as normative child development supports
Benefits of Physical Activity via Softball
There are many benefits of physical activity. Most immediately, they include cardiovascular health, muscle and bone strength, kinesthetic awareness, a sense of vitality, and a sense of physical competence and integrity. In some forms, physical activity appears to have self-regulatory benefits for behavior, emotional state, and even on chemical/hormonal balances in the body. Physical activity can reduce anxiety, feelings of stress, and according to a few reports, depression.

For more information about the benefits of physical activity among low-income children and families, you can access Robert Halpern's 

For more information about our Health Education Initiative, contact Dana Watson via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 517-512-3074. 
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 Visiting
Participant Satisfaction Survey Results (June 1, 2015 - October 31, 2015)
The participant satisfaction survey, which is conducted twice per year by the Maternal Child Health Division and validated by the Michigan Public Health Institute, is meant to determine the degree of participant satisfaction, in order to make the improvements needed to upgrade the level of services that Strong Start | Healthy Start offers. It is also meant to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes, which is meant to increase participant satisfaction.

The satisfaction survey results highlighted below represent Healthy Start clients enrolled between June 1, 2015 and October 31, 2015. Out of 75 participants randomly selected, we were able to obtain responses for 30 participants.

Refer someone today!

For more information about our Home Visiting Initiative, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322 or visit
Home Visiting
Family Spotlight: Raynique Coleman and Chris Scott
Since June 2015, Strong Start | Healthy Start services have been provided to over 400 mothers, children, and dads via home visits.  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: Elon Geffrard, Community Health Worker]

Raynique Coleman and Chris Scott are the proud parents of 18 month old Tatiana. Raynique and Chris participated in Strong Start | Healthy Start Health Education workshops shortly after Tatiana's birth and are currently involved in our program via home visits. Raynique is a breast feeding champion! Despite serious challenges, she continued to breastfeed her daughter all the way to 15 months!  Chris is an amazing dad who loves to read to his little one and was an essential support to Raynique as she breastfed their daughter. When asked about something they've done to give their daughter the strongest and healthiest start in life, Raynique said, "I breastfed my daughter for over a year, I read to her all the time, and I haven't stopped talking to her since the day she was born. Every time I read to my princess, I notice how she never wants to let us turn the pages. She has learned so many words and sometimes I forget that she is only 1. If I had to do it all over again, I would, because she's worth it; Mommy loves you Tati!"


Coleman & Scott Family Community Health Worker
Elon Geffrard

Refer someone today!

For more information about our Home Visiting Initiative, contact the Maternal Child Health Division at 517-887-4322 or visit
Dads Matter Initiative
Fatherhood Facilitator Interviewed on LCCRadio WLNZ, The Coffee Break

On Friday, October 9, 2015, the MSU Family Resource Center hosted a Courageous Parenting Forum, a forum for fathers who want to their greatness as parents. The forum included interactive discussion, networking, free lunch, resource information, education breakout sessions, and a panel of diverse Dads and inspirational presentations. The goals of the forum were to create a network to support Dads, fatherhood and parenting across complex issues; provide opportunities for relationship-building among fathers; tap the strength, wisdom and resiliency of people from diverse families; support men's identities around what it means to be a man/father from boyhood to manhood.

Healthy Start's Fatherhood Facilitator, Jonathan Lawrence, was part of the planning committee and also co-facilitated a "Young Dads; Taking Responsibility and Breaking the Cycle from Boyhood to Manhood," workshop in collaboration with Travis Neller from the Eaton Regional Education Service Authority.  Fathers were engaged in stimulating conversation that discussed, "What it means to be a man," from the Strong Start | Healthy Start program 24/7 Dad curriculum. Various aspects from how the media portrays men, to how men define themselves were shared. Read More

For more information about our Dad's Matter Initiative, contact Jonathan Lawrence via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 517-449-6046.
Dads Matter Initiative
Father Spotlight: Devion Wade
Since June 2015, Strong Start | Healthy Start has enrolled over 50 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]

In today's society young fathers don't get a ton of recognition. In many cases, young teen fathers are portrayed by media as being lost and having no idea of what they need to do to raise a child. That is not the case with Devion Wade. The epitome of a great father could be defined by this young man's actions and the manner in which he takes care of his family. Devion is a first time father that is driven, motivated and willing to do everything that he can in order to provide, take care of his family and ensure that his daughter is well taken care of. Devion has been married to Alexis for a month now and is very happy to start his journey with his growing family. Not only is he married, but he is a senior at J.W. Sexton High School who plans to graduate in May of 2016. He is right on track to accomplish his goal to graduate from high school.  On top of all of his school work, and tending to his family, he works a full time night to provide for his wife and daughter Estell. Devion is one of the newest fathers enrolled in Strong Start | Healthy Start, and as the Fatherhood Facilitator I am elated to work with him.

Devion Wade
Strong Start | Healthy Start Father

Wade Family Fatherhood Facilitator:
Jonathan Lawrence

For more information about our Dad's Matter Initiative, contact Jonathan Lawrence via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 517-449-6046.
Health Education Initiative
Health Education Workshops Make An Impact In Ingham County
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 child activities through Lansing Parks and Recreation, 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.
There are now healthy and fun activities at each workshop.  

For more information about our Health Education Initiative, contact Dana Watson via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 517-512-3074. 
Community Partner Spotlight
Ingham Great Start Collaborative
Ingham Great Start Collaborative (GSC) is a coalition of human service agencies, families and other partners working together to ensure that all children from birth to eight years old are ready to succeed in school and in life. Ingham GSC is working towards the following four Outcomes.
Children are...
  • Born healthy;
  • Healthy, thriving, and developmentally on track from birth to third grade;
  • Developmentally ready to succeed in school at the time of school entry
  • Prepared to succeed in 4th grade and beyond by reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.
Click on the following video to see why early childhood work is so important!

Ingham GSC Family Coalition was part of the planning team for the Courageous Parenting Fatherhood Forum, and is continuously looking for opportunities to engage families.  Ingham GSC and the Family Coalition also serve as the Early Childhood Anchor with the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Initiative in Lansing -read the MBK Year One (2014-15) Progress Report. In August, a GSC Orientation was held for new members and other interested parties to learn more about the GSC and why we do this work.  Another Orientation is scheduled for December 9, 2015.  Contact [email protected] if you are interested in attending the December GSC Orientation.

Many opportunities exist for families to become engaged in Ingham Great Start Collaborative (GSC)!

  • Ingham Local Leadership Group (LLG) meets the first Wednesday of the month from 12:30 - 2:30 at Harley Franks Early Childhood Center.  Parents are encouraged to share their experiences about the home visiting services they are receiving in order to continuously improve the quality of these services. Please contact Effie Alofoje-Carr at [email protected] for more information.
  • Play and Learn Groups, for infants up through preschoolers, meet on a regular basis throughout the county, to provide support and education for parents, and socialization experiences for children. Call (517) 244-1267 to register for a group.
  • works to build support for early childhood investment and provide a customer perspective to the GSC.  Parent cafes focusing on strengthening families are being planned for the near future.  Please contact MC Rothhorn or Jessica Baker at [email protected] for more information.
For more information about the Ingham Great Start Collaborative, go to 
November is Prematurity Awareness Month
"Every Baby Deserves A Chance"
Premature birth is a birth that is at least three weeks before a baby's due date. It is also known as preterm birth (or less than 37 weeks-full term is 40 weeks). Important growth and development occur throughout pregnancy, especially in the final months and weeks.

The earlier a baby is born, the more severe his or her health problems are likely to be. Although babies born very preterm are a small percentage of all births, these very preterm infants account for a large proportion of infant deaths. More infants die from preterm-related problems than from any other single cause. Some premature babies require special care and spend weeks or months hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

What Are the Causes?
Fortunately, most newborns grow and thrive. Approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year. Here are some common risk factors:

To learn more about National Prematurity Month or to learn about events in your local community visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Upcoming Events
Health Education Workshops
Health Education Workshops will resume on January 4, 2016.

1st Monday's of the Month 
4:00PM - 5:00PM
Hildebrandt Park, Community Room
3122 Turner Street, Lansing, MI

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

4th Monday's of the Month
4:00PM - 5:00PM
South Washington Park, Community Room
3200 South Washington Avenue, 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. 
Dads Matter Workshops
Dads Matter workshops will resume on January 13, 2016.

2nd Wednesday's of the Month
3:00PM - 4:00PM
South Washington Park, Community Room
3200 South Washington Avenue, Lansing, MI

4th Saturday's of the Month
11:00AM - 12:00PM
Tabernacle of David Church
12645 West Holmes Road, Lansing, MI

For more information and to register, contact Jonathan Lawrence at 517-449-6046. 
Community Action Network: Mommy & Me Groups
Mommy & Me Groups will begin on December 8, 2015.

2nd Tuesday's of the Month
5:00PM - 7:30PM
LaRoy Froh, Community Room
2400 Reo Road, Lansing, MI

4th Tuesday's of the Month
5:00PM - 7:30PM
The Bread House International Ministries
1518 South Washington Ave, Lansing, MI

The 'Mommy and Me' Groups offer mothers much more than a typical mommy and me group. Led by an experienced facilitator and mother, this group provides moms with the understanding of how their babies mature emotionally, cognitively, socially and physically. In addition, we help new mothers adjust to the joys and challenges of parenting. The goal is to ensure that we are utilizing our collective voices to discuss issues of importance to pregnant and parenting moms.

For more information and to register, contact Na'imah Muhammad at 517-420-5421. 
Infant Mortality Coalition Meeting
Thursday, December 3, 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.
Ingham Great Start Collaborative Orientation
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
12:30PM - 2:00PM

Harley Franks Early Childhood Center
2924 Newark Avenue, Lansing, MI
Lunch Provided

Ingham Great Start Collaborative is a coalition of human service agencies, families and other partners working together to ensure every child from birth to eight in Ingham County has access to a universal, comprehensive and collaborative system of community-based early childhood programs, services and supports. The Ingham GSC is part of the Michigan Great Start partnership with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) and the Michigan Office of Great Start.

For more information, e-mail [email protected].
Capital Area Baby Cafe
Every Thursday
1:30PM and 3:00PM
Ingham County Health Department
WIC Informational Mall
5303 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI

For moms who are breastfeeding or thinking about breastfeeding.  Babies, young children, and mom's support person are welcome.  Light refreshments served.  Breast pumps available for loan.

For more information, call the Expectant Parents Organization at 517-331-7365.
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 [email protected]

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

Ingham County Health Department
5303 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI
Legislative Updates
Democrats and Republicans Agree: Time for Fairness for Pregnant Workers
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was introduced in Congress, just as it was in 2012 and 2013-but this time, with a crucial difference. This time Republicans stood with Democrats in asserting that the time for fairness for pregnant workers has arrived. In addition to Congressman Nadler, Senator Casey, and Senator Shaheen, all longstanding Democratic champions for pregnant workers, Republican Senators Ayotte and Heller have lent their leadership and support to the bill. This is a big deal, as bipartisan efforts are few and far between these days, and a bipartisan bill is much more likely to move forward. Read More
Smoking In Cars With Children Illegal Starting October 1st, 2015
Starting October 1st, 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.Both the driver and the smoker in the car could be fined as much as $80. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence. The law does not apply if the driver is 17-years-old and is on their own in the car.

According to the U.K. Department of Health, every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals. This puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It can also make asthma worse. Read More
U.S. Gets a 'C' Grade on Preterm Births in March of Dimes report
The U.S. preterm birth rate of nearly 10 percent -- one of the highest among wealthy nations -- has earned the country a "C" on the new March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. Among states, only Idaho, Oregon, Vermont and Washington earned an "A." Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi got an "F." Ten states received a "B," and 18 states and the District of Columbia received a "C." Puerto Rico also received a failing grade.

Michigan, with a preterm birth rate of 9.8 percent, was rated a C. The national report card, released Nov. 5, is based on data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.
Despite continuing reductions in preterm birth rates, early birth remains the leading cause of infant death in the United States. And there are significant racial, ethnic and regional differences within states, according to a March of Dimes news release.

The March of Dimes announced a new goal: a reduction in the nation's preterm birth rate to about 8 percent of live births by 2020 and to 5.5 percent by 2030. If the 2020 goal is achieved, it would mean 210,000 fewer preterm births. Achieving the 2030 goal would mean 1.3 million fewer preterm births and about $70 billion in health care savings, according to the March of Dimes. Read More
Data for a Diverse and Equitable Future
The child population of the U.S. is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, with just under half of the child population comprised of Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and other racial/ethnic minority children. Unfortunately, large racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities stubbornly persist in the opportunities and conditions that allow children to thrive. Because all children have the right to grow and develop in a healthy way and because the foundations of adult productivity and health are established in childhood, we must improve opportunities for all children to fulfill their potential. This will not only enhance the quality of childhood for all children but foster future economic, social, and civic vitality and health. Learn 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