This inaugural business spotlight is sponsored by Healthy Start Pittsburgh. Their 2022 Maternal and Child Health Gala takes place May 19. Info, tickets, sponsorship opportunities and more are available on Healthy Start’s website, and you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Please describe your organization. What do you do and how do you do it?
Our goal at Healthy Start Pittsburgh is to improve health for women and babies by making sure all families have access to affordable, quality maternal and child health care in their communities. Our mission is to improve maternal and child health and to reduce poor birth outcomes and infant mortality. To do this, we provide community-based programs like one-on-one prenatal care, education, and mental health supports to new parents in their homes.
Beyond direct services, Healthy Start thinks big. We advocate for system-wide changes, like the expansion of Medicaid and paid leave for all parents. We also know we can’t do this work alone, so we partner with community members, other nonprofits, and government agencies to reduce infant mortality in Allegheny County.
What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?
Community is at the center of the Healthy Start model. We are inspired to work collectively toward a society where everyone has the opportunity for optimum health and wellbeing, despite race, economic status, or zip code.
Something unique about us is our Community Health Advocacy program, a paid 8-week training for single, Black mothers who are passionate about maternal and child health. So far, 52 participants have graduated from the program and gone on to support local health efforts such as creating the Wilkinsburg Walking Path to increase physical activity and reduce hypertension.
What other organizations are you inspired by?
Tell us about any programming/events you have coming up.
On May 19, we are celebrating 30 Years Strong at our annual Maternal and Child Health Gala! This night of community, compassion, and celebration will include live music, a silent auction with donated local goodies, a formal seated dinner, and a keynote presentation by actor and maternal health advocate Tatyana Ali. Tickets are on sale until Friday and we’d love to see you there!
What’s your biggest challenge? How can Pittsburghers help?
Our biggest challenges include:
- Black babies in Allegheny County die before the age of one at a rate over five times that of white babies.
- Black women and birthing people in Allegheny County have over twice the proportion of low birth weight babies compared to white women and birthing people.
- Black women in Pittsburgh die from pregnancy and childbirth related complications at a rate higher than 97 percent of similar cities.
- Donate to Healthy Start and other culturally-responsive community organizations
- Advocate by familiarizing yourself with family supporting legislation such as the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, postpartum Medicaid expansion, and the Family Care Act.
- Vote in local elections for people and policies that center our moms and babies.
What would you like to see change in Pittsburgh?
We envision a Pittsburgh where all babies have the opportunity to thrive. Our Allegheny County BIRTH Plan lays out how we can change the trajectory of our region!