South Health District receives funding to improve pregnancy outcomes, reduce infant mortality

LOWNDES, ECHOLS and BROOKS COUNTY – The Georgia Department of Public Health was awarded funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through its Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health. 

These funds will support the Georgia Strong Families Program (GSP) that will be implemented in South Health District (Valdosta District) and the West Central Health District (Columbus District).

“Healthy Start programs provide information, resources, and support to pregnant and parenting women and their families to ensure a healthy pregnancy and to help nurture their newborns,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “This support is critical to addressing the significant racial and ethnic disparities in preterm birth and infant death in the U.S.”

The Georgia Strong Families Program will allow existing services through South Health District’s BABY LUV/PAT program to expand into Brooks and Echols counties while continuing to serve families in Lowndes.  

This opportunity allows at least 350 pregnant women, new mothers, infants and fathers across these counties to receive quality services. Program services range from care for women, children and families such as healthcare coordination, home visitation, case management, and linkages to community social services.  In addition, the program will help build a more effective and efficient service-delivery system and promote and improve health equity across the area. 

According to the Dr. William Grow, District Health Director, “the Healthy Start funding fills a tremendous gap in Echols and Brooks Counties. Families in these counties will now be afforded the opportunity to receive evidenced based home visiting and other valuable Healthy Start services. We are certainly excited and glad to be a part of this initiative and we anticipate these services will improve the wellbeing of families in our area.”

South Health District is honored to be in the company of Georgia’s five other Healthy Start programs who were recently awarded:

  • The Center for Black Women’s Wellness Inc. – Atlanta, Ga.
  • Cobb County Board of Health – Marietta, Ga.
  • The Corporation of Mercer University – Macon, Ga.
  • County of Clayton – Jonesboro, Ga.
  • County of Laurens – Dublin, Ga.

For more information regarding the Georgia Strong Families Program, contact Tiffany Vinson Perinatal Executive Director at tiffany.vinson or office (229) 219-1211.