Healthy Start, Healthy Budget

Metro Louisville Public Health Department has been awarded a whopping $6.375 million in a five-year grant to continue the goal of reducing infant mortality.

That’s $1.275 million per year for the program, which has increased the number of women receiving preventive services after the delivery of the baby from 51% in 1999 to 91% in 2007.  Program data also document a 54% reduction in smoking rates among Healthy Start clients.

Healthy Start also works to reduce the number of low birth weight babies (less than 5.5 pounds) and very low birth weight babies (less than 3.3 pounds) among participants and to ensure that women receive early and continuing prenatal care.

The program was under an intensive review process and compete with other cities for the grant. It has been funded here since 1998.  Dr. Adewale Troutman, head of the Metro Health Department, said the program is helping to close the gap of infant mortality rates among minority populations.