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Project Concern International has launched the four-year California Border Healthy Start Project in San Diego, a program that will improve the health of low-income pregnant women, mothers, and their babies, in Southeast San Diego, Mid-City, Central San Diego, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, and National City, areas that represent the highest levels of poverty and poor birth outcomes in San Diego County.
Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Project Concern International received one of only two such awards made this year. The national Healthy Start Program is currently funding 98 projects in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
"We believe that this project will enable San Diego to become a model for increasing access to perinatal care and services for those who need them most," said Hilda Araiza, Supervisor, Community Benefits, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, Well Being Center.
Targeted underserved populations in San Diego County have substantially less access to quality health care than the rest of the county. African American infants in the project area are twice as likely to die as their counterparts in the US general population. In the same area, the number of births in the Hispanic community is high 60.2 percent compared to 44.3 percent in the county overall.
This project will enhance the capability of the local maternal and child health and social service systems in the county as well as increase effective outreach and recruitment efforts for pregnant high- and medium-risk women in need of prenatal services. The program will also improve follow-up through case management for both mother and child through two years of age.