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The Mission of Healthy Mothers,Healthy Babies is to promote healthy births and empower families to create a stronger community
HMHB was established to reduce the rate of walk in deliveries at County hospitals and infant mortality by facilitating access to prenatal care for underserved and uninsured pregnant women. Since then,the population of Palm Beach County has grown and changed dramatically due to the influx of new residents with a diversity of racial and ethnic heritages. HMHB facilitates all care for pregnant woman and her family with services, including, prenatal care referral, education about public assistance eligibility, individual education, Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screening, childbirth classes, breastfeeding information and immunization follow-up.HMHB originally conducted a pilot project for three months in 2000 to assist pregnant women in navigating the difficulties when it came to accessing prenatal care in South Palm Beach County. More than 80% of the women who worked with Health Care Navigators received assistance. The success was based on easy and consistent access to a support person. In a number of cases, completed paperwork was stalled in certain departments. Once the advocate intervened, successful completion of the application process was assured. Three years ago, the position was formally established in HMHB as the Health Care Navigator. To better reach pregnant women least likely to access prenatal care, HMHB takes Health Care Navigation on the road aboard a Mobile Outreach Center (MOC).It allows HMHB to deliver much needed Outreach, Healthcare Navigation and Care Coordination Services to the pregnant women who most need it right in their own communities. The colorful MOC creates an attractive, non-threatening presence in the community from which bilingual staff speaking, provide intensive hands on assistance to clients that alleviates much of the stress of qualifying and registering for care. Economic times like these especially affect our neighbors who already are at risk from social, health and financial problems. Those who do not have health insurance are more likely to go without needed care, incur higher expenses when they do seek medical treatment, and are at greater risk of future illness as a result than insured patients. HMHB is a member agency of the Healthy Beginnings System of Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, serving as the County's Prenatal Clearinghouse.
- Rhonda Seriani
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