CKHS Women and Children’s Health Services Wins Five-Year Multimillion Dollar HHS Grant for Healthy Start - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on September 09, 2014

Women and Children’s Health Services Wins Five-Year Multimillion Dollar Grant from HHS for Healthy Start

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Aubrey Proud
(610) 447-6171
[email protected]

On August 27, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded a five-year Level 2 Collective Impact grant to Crozer-Keystone Health System that provides full funding for its Healthy Start program through May 31, 2019. This grant totals $5,536,966 over the next five years, and enables this well-established community program to expand its services as it works with local partners to eliminate perinatal disparities in the Chester area.

Starting in 1997, Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start was developed to address the problem of infant mortality and morbidity in Chester and its surrounding communities under the stewardship of Joanne Craig, MS, administrative director of Crozer-Keystone Women and Children’s Health Services. Through almost two decades of commitment, community outreach, local education and the ability to build critical local partnerships, Healthy Start has had a very positive impact locally. In large part due to their efforts, the infant mortality rate for southeastern Delaware County has been reduced to 15.7/1000 for black non-Hispanic, 4.3/1000 for Hispanic and 2.5/1000 for white non-Hispanic. For comparison, in 1995 the black non-Hispanic infant mortality rate was 22/1000 in southeastern Delaware County.

At the federal level, the Healthy Start program is managed by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration and has been redesigned to use evidence-based strategies with the goal of further improving program performance. Under this updated model, which was the basis for the recent awarding of grant funding, Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start is required to utilize new tactics and increase its outreach in the communities they serve. Listed below are the updated criteria for Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start over the next five years:

  • This program serves the southeast corner of Delaware County that includes Chester, Upland, Eddystone, Woodlyn, Parkside, Chester Township, Marcus Hook, Trainer and Linwood.
  • This program is available for pregnant women, expectant fathers, the family and children up to age two. Services include intensive outreach, engagement and recruitment of pregnant women; tiered case management based on assessed need and home visiting; education that focuses on health, parenting, early childhood development, life skills, financial literacy and management, consumer and civil legal information and leadership development. There will be a special effort to engage and recruit fathers for services.
  • Pregnant women can enroll from conception to 28 weeks (i.e. 1st and 2nd trimesters) and can continue to stay in the program until the child is two years old. Formal partnerships and agreements have been established with several local community partners to assist with services.
  • The primary office location remains Community Hospital (2600 West 9th Street, 1st Floor) and open enrollment is available Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  In addition, mobile enrollment opportunities will place trained case managers with OB/GYN offices, ChesPenn Health Services, Chester-Upland School District, Chichester High School and Ridley High School in the near future.
  • Transportation for this program is no longer available.

Through these expanded efforts to positively impact the local community, the federal guidelines require Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start to serve a minimum of 800 people per year, including pregnant women, postpartum women, babies and children. In addition, they must serve a minimum of 400 new pregnant women each year, which is an increase from the previous guidelines of 175 pregnant women annually.

An additional benefit of Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start includes the opportunity for more program members to receive free legal advice through the Medical-Legal Partnership that exists between Widener University School of Law and Crozer-Keystone. This unique partnership was first established in the fall of 2010, and offers an important level of resources for community members that are frequently unable to afford legal advice. Civil and consumer lawyers offer their time and talents to handle civil and consumer legal cases to help the participants and families enrolled in Healthy Start.

Joanne Craig and her dedicated staff are excited by the new challenges, and she comments, “Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start has been at the center of my department’s efforts as we have worked closely with community residents and key partners, and we are humbled by the opportunity in front of us to continue our mission of reducing infant mortality rates. This can only be accomplished through dedicated efforts within the local community, and this five year grant along with its criteria allows for a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference.”

To make an appointment with Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start, call (610) 497-7460. For more information, visit, or email Joanne Craig at [email protected].

Crozer-Keystone Women and Children’s Health Services has been part of the Delaware County community for more than 20 years. Their current programs and areas of focus include Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start, Delaware County Cribs for Kids, Hispanic Resource Center and Nurse-Family Partnership. Their work is focused on women, children and families who are dealing with high risk factors for poor maternal/birth outcomes and infant mortality/morbidity. It is rarely business as usual, so the experienced staff are experts at thinking outside the box and being creative to ensure positive results for the women and children that require their services.

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