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About Us
Each year 3 out of 4 pregnant women and their families in Monroe County receive assistance through the Florida Keys Healthy Start programs.

If you are interested in helping us achieve our mission we have two open positions in the Middle and Lower Keys. Please click this link for more information,

The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition unites people and resources to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, children, and their families in Monroe County.

A community working together to provide access to quality care and resources for all pregnant women, infants and their families in the Florida Keys.

The Coalition serves over three-fourths of the approximately 750 babies born in Monroe County each year, before, during and after pregnancy.  We work with women and families of all economic levels, with or without insurance.   We want to address all issues related to pregnancy and infants, so that families in the Keys can give their children a Healthy Start!

The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is a 501(c)3 community based organization.  We are a prenatal and infant care Coalition of private and public agencies, community-centered providers, local businesses and passionate individuals in Monroe County.  The Coalition is organized under the authority of the Department of Health to implement the provision of Florida’s Healthy Start legislation.  It is the intent of the Healthy Start legislation to establish a system that guarantees that all women in Monroe County have access to prenatal care and that all infants have access to services that promote normal growth and development.  Healthy Start services are provided free of charge and include but are not limited to: stress-management; home-visiting, parenting skills, nutritional information, baby-spacing information, breastfeeding and childbirth education, and assistance with accessing financial assistance for pregnancy costs and infant care costs. 

The Coalition was founded in 1992, as an outgrowth/extension of the previously named Monroe County Perinatal Network, whose main goal was to provide needed prenatal and infant care services to the community, yet received very little funding and operated primarily on volunteer efforts to provide these services.  The community saw a great need for a more integrated, cohesive, and comprehensive agency to oversee and coordinate the many facets of providing maternal and infant care services, in a community with very unique geographic challenges; namely, a series of islands spanning 120 miles and connected only by 42 bridges.  Thus, the Coalition was born.

If you would like to become involved with the Coalition please feel free to contact our offices at 305-293-8424 or Email our office.

The below individuals are the voting members of the Coalition's Board of Directors.  They represent the county-wide governing entity.

  • Chair:  Erin Muir, FL Keys History and Discovery Foundation
  • Vice Chair: Christine Helms, RN - Mariner's Hospital
  • Secretary UK: Cheryl Cottrell, RN, BSN, MHSA, NE-BC - Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer - Mariner's Hospital
  • Secretary LK: Melanie Youschak, MD - Pediatrician - Keys Pediatrics
  • Treasurer:  Sharon Ward, MD - Private Practice OB/GYN, Island Women's Health, Key West, FL
  • Director:  Mike Forster - Mangrove Mike's Cafe,  Islamorada Councilman
  • Director:  Nicole, Manning RN, BSN, BC-Perinatal Nursing - Director of MCH Unit - Lower Keys Medical Center
  • Director:  Brynn Morey - Program Manager - Florida Keys Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
  • Director:  Ryan Barnett, DC - Key West Chiropractic

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Board Member for the Coalition, please contact the Coalition or call 305-293-8424.

The below individuals are the non-voting members of the Coalition.  Their input is invaluable as we grow and change to meet the ever-changing needs of Monroe County's mothers, babies, and their families.

  • Rev. Dr. Pam Feeser  - Living Springs Counseling
  • Jessica Lariz, CLC - Monroe County FL Department of Health and Program Coordinator -Healthy Start
  • Holly Raschein - Florida State Representative
  • Elizabeth Ross - Eden House
  • Dr. Stan Sack - Pediatrician
  • Lisa Tennyson - Monroe County Board of County Commissioners
  • Barbara Tomas, MSW - Early Steps Southernmost Coast

We are always looking to grow our Coalition.  If you are passionate about our mission and would like to get more involved please contact the Coalition or call 305-293-8424.

Quarterly Board & Coalition Meetings 

  • June 13, 2019
  • August 22, 2019
  • October 17, 2019
  • December 5, 2019
  • Quarterly Board & Coalition meetings will be held at First State Bank located at 6900 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL, unless otherwise noted. Please RSVP your attendance to 305-293-8424. 

If you need accommodations to participate, call Fatima at FKHSC at least 7 days in advance of the meeting to make your request.


Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition Inc