Letter Expressing Strong Support of the Healthy Start Program

Nov 29, 2012


Dear Mr. Zients,

We are writing to express our strong support of the Healthy Start program.  In considering the fiscal year 2014 budget, we hope that the President will maintain program funding at the current level of $103.532 million.

As you know, Healthy Start provides community-based maternal and child health services designed to reduce rates of infant mortality and low birth weight, particularly in communities of color.  This network of more than 100 programs nationwide provides targeted case management and health education for women and their families with the aim of improving birth outcomes among those most at risk.

The Healthy Start program has been remarkably effective in reaching mothers who would otherwise lack prenatal care.  Maintaining current funding levels will allow local programs to continue making investments in healthy families.  In addition to improving health outcomes, access to these valuable prenatal services prepares children to learn and reduces the long-term need for social services.  

We understand the difficult decisions the President faces in developing his fiscal year 2014 budget.  In developing the upcoming request, we hope he will provide Healthy Start with his full consideration.  For more than twenty years, this program has provided cost-effective services to at-risk women and families.  With sustained support, this program will continue to improve outcomes and reduce long-term health and societal costs.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.