Due to drastic national budget cuts the healthy start program is in jeopardy of losing their funding. I am reaching out, and I know I can depend on other people who work close with the community and support the Healthy Start program to assist me in our continual local, state, and national funding advocacy efforts. It is imperative that we work together and advocate for the babies in our communities.
On behalf of Healthy Start, we would like to congratulate you on your re-election to the office of the President of the United States. We would like to thank you for your continued efforts to better the health of the American people through your ongoing healthcare reform initiatives and various health and human service programs.
One of the successful health and human service programs in the United States today is Healthy Start, a federally funded infant mortality reduction program. Healthy Start has 105 projects located in 39 states. Together, projects aim to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes by offering a variety of health and education services to expecting mothers and families in communities with elevated infant mortality rates.
Our project, Healthy Start Southeast Chicago, is one of the projects working to reduce infant mortality and increase positive birth outcomes in communities with elevated infant mortality rates. We service the communities of South Chicago, Pullman, West Pullman, South Deering, Roseland, and Riverdale, many of which you yourself worked in and
served as an advocate. At Healthy Start Southeast Chicago we have adopted a community health model to guide our activities and programs. In doing this, we push the boundaries set by the maternal-child health label by directing our activities toward bettering the health of the community at-large. Healthy babies are born of healthy communities, and creating and maintaining a compassionate, supportive environment fosters positive health outcomes for the population as a whole.
Healthy Start is currently in jeopardy, as we are at risk of losing funding for the program. Currently, we are asking Congress to continue to fund our activities through an appropriation in the minimum amount of 103.5 million dollars, which is nominally equivalent to the level of funding for the current fiscal year. We ask that you join us in our efforts by providing for such an appropriation in your budget and asking our congressional leaders to make the same allowances in their budget.
Without immediate action, Healthy Start risks major cuts to our budget, which would gravely endanger our efforts to reduce infant mortality and increase positive birth outcomes across the nation. Time and time again, Healthy Start has proven to be a socially advantageous, fiscally sound program which not only addresses the core issue of infant mortality but also enhances the overall health status of the populations which it serves by providing comprehensive and direct serves to these communities.
We thank you for taking the time to consider our request, and we applaud your current and ongoing efforts to better the health of all Americans. We know we can count on your support in this endeavor.
Celeste R. Garcia, Consumer Advocate
Healthcare Consortium of Illinois
Southeast Chicago Healthy Start