Celebrating St. Louis Healthy Start

September 2015 059Dear Friends of the Generate Health,

The St. Louis Healthy Start program came to a close after thirteen years of service to the community.  The ending of the program was marked by a celebration of key partners and accomplishments.  The theme of the closing ceremony was captured by the following quote by Jonathan Lockwood Huie,

“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.”  

Healthy Start infused over $7.2 million in federal funds to our region between 2001 and December2014. The program focused on the disproportionate burden of infant mortality shouldered by African American families.  The African American infant mortality rate is 3 times higher than the White infant mortality rate in St. Louis City and County. This funding expanded the capacity of services far beyond its 3-zip code border and set priorities for broader community efforts.   Click here for more information about the history and impact of St. Louis Healthy Start.  The accomplishments could not have been possible without Nurses for Newborns, St. Louis University, and many other partners who provided referrals to the program and provided health education.

September 2015 064The Healthy Start program and especially the wisdom of parents enrolled in the program shaped the Generate Health.  It contributed to a better understanding of the most important issues facing families at risk and led to the creation of new collaborative initiatives with regional impact on maternal and child health.  From the establishment of the first Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program in Missouri to the creation of Making Change Happen Leadership Academy, TRIUMPH and the Prenatal Infant Wellness Collaborative, and Partnership for Preconception Health, St. Louis Healthy Start was successful translating data into collaborative action.


The Federal Healthy Start funding was one piece of a larger safety net system for women and children that has been eroding and becoming ever more fragmented over the years.  The loss of funding is a wake-up call for our region to determine how it will support and direct resources to vulnerable women and children.  

September 2015 035While the Healthy Start program as we knew it for 13 years came to an end, the legacy and spirit will live on in the relationships that were formed, ongoing partnerships, and the lessons learned and wisdom shared by inspirational program participants.  And we will build upon this legacy as we create a new beginning for improving the system of care for women, children and families.  Under the banner of FLOURISH St. Louis, Generate Health will redouble efforts to bring together multi-sector stakeholders, help the community identify top issues and collaboratively take action.  Generate Health is also proud to continue these initiatives:

  • Prenatal and Infant Wellness Collaborative and it’s TRIUMPH initiative continue to promote early and regular prenatal care
  • Perinatal Resource Network which is hosting a series of workshops about integration of primary and behavioral health for women and children
  • Fetal and Infant Mortality Review will continue to serve as a source of information and action for systems issues contributing to infant death
  • Making Change Happen Leadership Academy developed under Healthy Start will continue to serve as a vehicle for consumer engagement and advocacy
  • Gateway Immunization Coalition continues to support education and coordination across vaccine stakeholders

September 2015 052Now is the time
to recommit to the purpose of Generate Health – achieving more together than we can alone.  Please help keep the spirit of Healthy Start alive by:

  • Joining one of the current initiatives and attending coalition meetings and events
  • Becoming a member, click here
  • Sharing your ideas and educate others about maternal and child health by visiting www.flourishstlouis.org

To celebrating endings and creating new beginnings,

The St. Louis Healthy Start Team of Generate Health

Kendra Copanas, Lora Gulley, Jill Thompson, Kate Kasper, and Kim Jackson

Generate Health
5501 Delmar Blvd, #B240
St. Louis, MO 63112
phone: (314) 880-5719
email: info@generatehealthstl.org
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