Healthy Start Programs and Initiatives

“Infant mortality is not a health problem.
It is a social problem with health consequences.” – Marsden Wagner JPHP


About Healthy Start Programs and Initiatives

Welcome to our comprehensive programs page, where we proudly present an array of initiatives designed to support and enhance the well-being of families and communities.

Healthy Start Programs and Initiatives include:

Healthy Start Home Visiting

Healthy Start is a free home visiting program providing education and care coordination to pregnant women and families of children under the age of three. The goal of the program is to help parents lower the risk factors associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, infant mortality and poor developmental outcomes.

Healthy Start offers:

  • Home visitation.
  • Prenatal and parenting education.
  • Family planning
  • Stress management education.
  • Care coordination to help families learn about resources available in the community and assistance in accessing those services.

Learn more.

This Healthy Start Family CONNECT service is free and helps connect families to things that can make life easier. It gives support and resources to moms, babies, and families so they can have the best start. If you are pregnant or have kids under 3 years old, you can join. There are many services you can choose from, and you get to decide which ones you want. If you want to know more, fill out the form below, and one of our pregnancy navigators will connect you with the things you need.

Learn more.



It’s normal for new dads to feel a bit unsure about what to do when their partner has a baby. That’s where TEAM Dad comes in. We help dads figure things out, give advice, and support them in being the caring, involved, and strong fathers their child need. We are here to offer the best support for new dads.

Learn more.


Beds 4 Babies

The Beds 4 Babies Project promotes infant safety by educating parents on the need for safe sleep practices. The project works directly with families most in need and Healthy Start staff accepts referrals from community organizations and local medical providers.

For more information or a presentation about “Safe Sleep Practices” and/or the “Beds 4 Babies Project”, contact the Coalition office:

Iralda Badillo
Program HR Assistant
Office: 863-534-9224
Direct: 863-800-3555 – Direct

Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR)

The FIMR Project is a process that examines significant social, economic, cultural, safety, and health systems associated with fetal and infant mortality and morbidity. It is anticipated that this knowledge will empower communities to enhance service, influence policy, and direct planning efforts that will ultimately lower mortality rates. FIMR is composed of two groups:
Case Review Team (CRT) – a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that uses unidentified/patient blinded abstracted information to review fetal and infant deaths in the tri-county area.

Community Action Group (CAG) – a diverse group of community leaders who review recommendations from the CRT, assess their importance, and design, develop, and implement strategies for change to assure that mothers and infants receive high-quality health care.

For more information contact:

Tonya Akwetey, MPH
Community Outreach Manager/FIMR Project Coordinator
Office: 863-534-9224
Direct: (863) 800-3557
Cell: (863) 221-2635

Healthy Start Doula Program

A doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, physical, and education support to pregnant individuals and their families, those experiencing labor, and those who have recently given birth. Their goal is to help support a safe, empowering, and memorable birthing experience.

For more information contact:

Amy Beascoechea, CD (GROW/BEAM)
Doula Coordinator/Social Media Manager
Office: 863-534-9224
Cell: 863-585-3439

Learn more.

Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) - Highlands

The Healthy Start Coalition Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is the program model the Coalition use to implement Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV). To register or for more information on the program call 863-519-4700 or 863-519-4701 or email ci-r@healthystarthhp.org

MIECHV is a program that provides parents and other caregivers with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to assist their children in being healthy, safe, and ready to succeed in school. The program’s goal is to improve healthy and developmental outcomes for at risk children through the Nurse-Family Partnership program.

The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a free, voluntary program in Highlands County that partners first-time moms with nurse home visitors.

Learn more.

Safe Haven for Newborns

Dedicated to saving the precious lives of newborns from the dangers of abandonment and assisting pregnant girls/women in crisis.

Safe Haven for Newborns – Florida’s Safe Baby Law allows mothers and/or fathers, or whoever is in possession of an unharmed newborn approximately 7 days old or less, to leave them in the “arms” of an employee at any Hospital or staffed 24/7 Fire Rescue Station, or Emergency Medical Station. No questions asked, totally anonymous, free from fear of prosecution.

The Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands & Polk Counties, Inc. can provide you with written “Safe Haven for Newborns” materials to help you make a safe and educated decision for your baby.

You may also click here to visit the Safe Haven for Newborns website or call the 24-hour helpline at 1-877-767-BABY x 2229. The helpline is confidential and toll-free and assistance is available in English, Spanish, and Creole.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Alliance

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Alliance (TPPA) was established in 1994 as an action group of the Healthy Start Coalition of Hardee, Highlands and Polk Counties, Inc. TPPA is comprised of members from sectors of the community that include private business, public health, social services, law enforcement, schools and the faith community.

The mission of the Polk County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Alliance is to reduce the risk of pregnancy in Polk County through the collaboration of agencies and empowerment of our youth and community. Polk TPPA is committed to creating an environment that supports parents and empowers youth to maximize their potential without the limitations imposed by pregnancy, childbearing, and parenting.

TPPA meets the 1st Thursday of every month. Come join us! Call 863-534-9224 for meeting locations.

For more information about the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Alliance please contact:

Elease Davis, TPPA Coordinator
863-534-9224 – Office
863-899-0463- Cell
Email: edavis@healthystarthhp.org


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