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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Maternal and Child Health

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Findings from Phase II of the National Healthy Start Evaluation

Monday, June 2, 2008, 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Overview | Presenter Information | Agenda | Resources | Archive


Racial disparities in infant mortality and other adverse birth outcomes continue to plague the United States. One of the primary measures taken by the government to address these disparities is the Healthy Start program, funded by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and implemented in 99 communities with high rates of infant mortality and limited access to health care. While each Healthy Start grantee tailors its programming to its community’s needs, the three core goals of the program are to (1) reduce racial and ethnic disparities in access to and utilization of health services; (2) improve the local health care system; and (3) increase consumer/ community voice and participation in health care decisions.

In September 2002, a national evaluation of the Healthy Start program was undertaken to examine the projects that were operational during the 2001–2005 funding cycle. The evaluation relied on a set of logic models to illustrate how implementation of the program may lead to the achievement of core program goals, which in turn, may translate into improved maternal and child health outcomes. Results of the first phase of the four-year evaluation, an electronic survey of 95 grantees, were recently released.

This upcoming DataSpeak program focuses on the findings from the second phase of the national evaluation, which comprised in-depth case studies of eight Healthy Start grantees. Deborah Klein Walker, Ed.D., Vice President of Abt Associates, will discuss the overall methodology for the case studies and the results of the onsite interviews with Healthy Start staff. This will include an overview of grantee-reported achievements, the elements that program staff report are key to their achievements, and discuss program strengths and challenges remaining. Margo Rosenbach ,Ph.D., Vice President of Mathematica Policy Research, will discuss the results of the Healthy Start participant survey. She will present survey methods, participant demographics, and key findings, including information about access to care, satisfaction with services, and birth outcomes among participants. The presentation will close with a comprehensive discussion of lessons learned from both phases of the evaluation.