April 2020
Completing the Healthy Start screening form is valuable for all mothers regardless of age, race or economic status. 

Prenatal Screening Rates* (July 2019 - January 2020)
Coalition Prenatal Screening Rate Goal: 70%  
Citrus County
471/639 = 74%
Hernando County
697/998 = 70% 
Lake County
1,423/2,062 = 69% 
Sumter County
200/258 = 78% 
Coalition Total
2,791/3,957 = 71%
State Total
80,924/132,742 = 61%
* Prenatal Screening Rate = Total Consenting to Screen / Estimated Number of Pregnant Women

Infant Screening Rates** (July 2018 - January 2020)
Coalition Infant Screening Rate Goal: 85%
Citrus Memorial Health System
260/260 = 100%
Bayfront Health Seven Rivers 156/156 = 100%
Bayfront Health Spring Hill 236/238 = 99%
Oak Hill Hospital 671/671 = 100%
Advent Health Waterman 346/346 = 100%
UF Health Leesburg 585/585 = 100%
South Lake Hospital (Clermont) 351/377 = 93%
Community Birth & Wellness Center 14/14 = 100%
Coalition Total 3,850/3,957 = 97%
State Total
127,233/132,742 = 96%
** Infant Screening Rate = Total Screened/Total Infants
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): What Pregnant Women and Families with Children Need to Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we have limited pregnancy-specific data about COVID-19 at this time.  However, based on prior outbreaks caused by similar viruses (i.e. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV), we know pregnant women and babies may be at risk of becoming sick.


1.  During Pregnancy, a woman's immune system is less quick to respond to illness so they are more likely to become sick.
  • High fevers during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects.
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth have been observed with other coronaviruses and infections (i.e. flu) during pregnancy.
2.  Based on limited reports, adverse outcomes like preterm birth have been reported among babies born to moms with COVID-19, but it's not clear if that's related to maternal infection.

3.  We don't know whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus to her baby and there's no information on the long-term health effects on infants.  Recent data has shown that babies born to mothers with the virus didn't test positive for COVID-19.

4.  There is not enough data yet to know if the virus can spread from you to your baby by breastfeeding.  To date, the COVID-19 virus hasn't been found amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

5.  Children do not appear to be at a higher risk of getting  COVID-19 based on the limited data available.  Reports show that children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms; serious problems are rare.

  • Stay up-to-date on vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.
  • Stay home when you're sick and avoid close contact with people who may be sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your arm.  Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect objects you touch regularly and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.  Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to wash dishes and utensils.
  • Talk to your health care provider about your health and risk of COVID-19.

World Maternal Mental Health Day is Wednesday, May 6, 2020

World Maternal Mental Health Day draws attention to essential mental health concerns for mothers and families.  Life changes around pregnancy make women more vulnerable to mental illness.  The negative cycle of poverty and mental illness impact on a woman's ability to function and thrive.  This may also directly affect her fetus or child, with long-lasting physical, cognitive and emotional outcomes.  Mental health care provides the necessary support to empower women to identify resources and personal capabilities.  This can enhance their resilience to difficult life circumstances and support them to nurture their children optimally.  Care for mothers is a positive intervention for long-term social development.


Worldwide, as many as 1 in 5 women experience some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD).  Statistics vary by country, but this is a worldwide concern.  PMADs include postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum bipolar, and postpartum psychosis.

Estimates are that 7 in 10 women hide or downplay their symptoms.  Without understanding, support, and treatment these mental illnesses have a devastating impact on the women affected and on their partners and families.

Perinatal mood disorders affect the entire family.  Many people don't realize that about 1 in 10 dads develop depression during this time.  An integrated approach to family mental health allows both parents to move beyond the postpartum period as a thriving family unit.

It is estimated that 20%-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth.  In addition to grief, many of these women also experience postpartum depression.  Giving birth to a premature child, or having a child spend extended time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, can also take a toll on maternal mental health.

For more information, please visit   wmmhday.postpartum.net

Board Membership
Please contact Heather Hollingsworth if you have someone interested in becoming a Board Director.  We are currently looking for representation from the Community Organization, Advocacy and Consumer categories.

CHS is on AmazonSmile
Did you know that you can donate to Central Healthy Start just by shopping on Amazon?  Want to know how?  Just use the following link and continue to shop as you normally would.  For every purchase made using this link, Amazon will donate a percentage to the Coalition at no additional cost to you.  How cool is that?   https://smile.amazon.com/ch/59-3119439
Moving Crib Display in Lake County
Thank you to LifeStream Family Services for agreeing to be a host of one of our Moving Crib Displays for the Coalition.

Sumter County World's Greatest Baby Shower
Sumter County's World's Greatest Baby Shower event was held on February 21st, 2020 at the Sumter County Fairgrounds in Bushnell, Florida.   There were 21 registrants, 3 fathers and 25 other guests for a total of 49 attendees. A total of 21 agencies had a table at the event.  A special "thank you" to all of our volunteers for helping us put on such a successful event!

Hernando and Citrus County Baby Shower Events CANCELLED
Please note that the World's Greatest Baby Shower events in Hernando and Citrus counties have been cancelled.  They will be rescheduled once the planning teams are able to meet again.

The Healthy Start Team

Lesha Buchbinder
Early Learning Coalition of Lake County
Past President
Joelle Aboytes
Department of Children and Families - Circuit 5
Vice President
Dana Selfridge
Healthy Families Pasco-Hernando
Esmeralda Batiz
Community Health Centers

Dee Dixon
Healthy Families Citrus County

Maria Granado Lake County Community Health Worker Program

Porcha Green
Healthy Families Lake, Sumter & Marion

Kristen Hopper LifeStream Behavioral Center

Sandra Woodard
Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast

Coalition Screening Rates  
COVID-19 Information
Maternal Mental Health Day
Coalition Updates
The Healthy Start Team
From the Director

We are right in the middle of a global pandemic and it's affecting people all across the world.  Here in Florida, we currently have 6,955 confirmed cases and that number continues to climb by the hour.

With all of the unknown please know that the Coalition is here for you!  We will be using video conferencing (Zoom or Go To Meeting) as well as conference calls, email and phone to get essential business done.  We are available to answer your questions and help where we can.

CONNECT is running as usual so please continue to expedite your Healthy Start referrals and serve our participants in the best way possible considering the restrictions that have been put in place at the state level.

One thing I know to be true is that we are all very resilient in Healthy Start!  We've had to adapt to changes quickly and keep going on many occasions in the past and I know that we will do the same in this situation too.  Again, please reach out if there is anything we can help you with.

Stay healthly, 
Julie Moderie, MPH
Program Director
CI&R Home Advisory Committee Meeting
Tues, Apr. 14 , 2020
@ 11:00 AM via video conference call

Executive Committee Meeting
Tues., Apr. 14th, 2020
@ 1:00 PM via video conference call

Care Coordinator Meeting
Thurs., Apr. 16, 2020
@ 9:00 AM via video conference call

Service Provider Advisory Council Meeting
Thurs., May 7th, 2020
@ 11:00 AM at Kids Central, Inc.*

Executive Committee Meeting
Thurs., May 7th, 2020
@ 1:00 PM at Kids Central, Inc.*

Annual Meeting
Thurs., June 11th, 2020
@ 1:00 PM at the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County**

Kid's Central, Inc. is located at 901 Industrial Drive, Suite 200 in Wildwood, Florida

Early Learning Coalition of Lake County is located at 1300 Citizens Blvd., Suite 206 in Leesburg, Florida

Central Healthy Start
1785 NW 80th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606
P: 352-313-6500 | F: 352-313-6515 | www.CentralHealthyStart.org