Healthy Start EPIC Center logo


What is Healthy Start?

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services leads and guides national efforts to improve the health outcomes of mothers and women, through several initiatives. Since 1991, the Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health (Healthy Start) Program has aimed to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy and reduce the well-documented racial/ethnic disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. Healthy Start serves women, infants, fathers, and families throughout the maternal child health continuum of care (from preconception through 18 months postpartum), in communities with the highest rates of adverse infant and maternal outcomes.  

In recent years, HRSA launched two related, special initiatives. Since 2022, the Catalyst for Infant Health Equity Program has aimed to:

  1.  Continue reducing overall infant mortality rates in the US, and
  2.  Decrease and ultimately eliminate disparities in infant mortality across racial/ethnic groups by achieving steeper declines for groups with the highest rates.


Since 2023, the Healthy Start Initiative – Enhanced (HSE) Program has aimed to support projects in diverse communities and populations (e.g., rural, urban, non-Hispanic Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native [AI/AN]) experiencing the greatest disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes.

A Brief History of Healthy Start

"Healthy Start Is..."

This five-minute video features Healthy Start project directors from around the country describing the essence of the healthy Start program by finishing the sentence “Healthy Start is…”. Grantees can use this video to introduce Healthy Start to community partners, show it at community meetings, or post it on their websites.