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Florida's Healthy Start Program Celebrates 30 Years Of Success

pregnant woman
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Florida's Healthy Start program is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. Tom Flanigan reports that effort to improve the lives of new moms and their babies is touting significant success. There are 11 Healthy Start regions in Florida. The Coalition's Executive Director Cathy Timuta said all of them have reason for celebration.

"Over the last 30 years, one of our biggest achievements with all of our partners across the state of Florida is the reduction of infant mortality by 32%."

Timuta acknowledged the infant mortality rate for African-American babies hasn't gone done quite as much, but insisted there are new initiatives to tackle that head on. Made possible, she explained, by the help of Florida lawmakers during the 2021 lawmaking session.

"We received a generous influx of funding to help cover our Medicaid services. So more families will be able to get services this year through Healthy Start. We do not have a legislative (for 2022.)"

That's a timely development as many state-supported agencies are likely to request more money because of the greater service needs related to the pandemic.

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