Our Journey to Opening a Mother's Milk Bank Depot
We were happy to tell the story of our journey to opening a mother's milk bank depot for the USLCA (United States Lactation Consultant Association). Are you interested in donating breastmilk for Florida's most vulnerable babies? Get more info at https://www.keyshealthystart.org/milk-bank
Gabriel Project continues support of Keys to Hope program
When the Healthy Start Coalition officially launched the Keys to Hope program in Fall of 2021, we were honored that Gabriel Project offered their support with funding for this program. The Keys to Hope program provides support to parents and families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy, baby, or child. For more information about this program go to https://www.keyshealthystart.org/bereavement.
Check out this story from the Key West edition of Keys Weekly about the wonderful impact of Gabriel Project for our community and for the Keys to Hope program.
The Citizens' Choice of Outstanding Keys Individuals by Key West Citizen and Florida Keys Free Press
Jan.1, 2022 - Congratulations to Amanda Berlanga for her recognition in the Citizens' Choice of Outstanding Keys Individuals by Key West Citizen and Florida Keys Free Press. Citizens' Choice features people and organizations who provide real value to our community and make the Keys a special place. Amanda, who directs our new Keys to Hope program, is leading us in bringing valuable resources to families experiencing the loss of a pregnancy, infant or child. For more information about the Keys to Hope program, click here.
Accepting Community Appointments for Free Bicycle Helmet from Certified Helmet Fitters
Sept. 30, 2021 - The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County trained seven additional community partners, including two members of the FKHSC staff, to become certified to properly fit helmets as part of the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycling Safety Resource Center program, funded by FDOT. This course is offered to community partners to help educate residents about bicycle safety; learn facts, statistics, and the law; and learn about the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. Certified persons can register with the Safety Resource Center, order bicycle safety materials and helmets, and in-turn, provide the important education and helmets to residents to keep them from accidents that can be potentially serious or fatal. For more information about this program, visit www.pedbikesrc.ce.ufl.edu or email DOHMonroe@flhealth.gov. You can also make an appointment to get properly fitted for your FREE helmet by filling out a request form.
Pictured from left: Kris DiGiovanni (Key Colony Beach Police Department Chief), Tony Ane (HOB SRO with Key West Police Department), Joseph Burden (Key Colony Beach Police Department), Jamie Buxton (Key Colony Beach Police Department), Jenny Young (Key West High School SRO with Key West Police Department), Renee Scarpelli (Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition), and Shannon Lucas (Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition). Photo by: Alison Kerr Regional Certified Helmet Trainer with the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County.
Healthy Start Coalition Addresses Shortage of Women’s Health Practitioners with Support from the CFFK and Driftwood Fund.
Monroe County is currently experiencing an OBGYN shortage that is at a crisis level for our community. Doctors’ offices are booked completely, with medical providers covering double the caseloads as in previous years. Not only are many pregnant women and families with young children struggling to get an appointment, but those that do get an appointment have very limited time with their doctor. The result is missed prenatal care, missed postpartum appointments, long and expensive transportation (often out of county) to other providers, increased emergency department usage as primary care, and a public health issue. While the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition (FKHSC) commends and is deeply thankful for all that the medical providers are doing, the intention is to develop a program that would support both families and the medical community while a long-term solution is being implemented.
The FKHSC is honored to announce receipt of grant funding of $7,500 from the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Driftwood Fund to help address this crisis. The FKHSC Labor and Bereavement Doula program will provide immediate support for families in our community. The training of at least seven additional professionals to help families during pregnancy and through the birthing process will not only have a direct and positive impact on local pregnant mothers, but will also ensure healthier families and a healthier community for the future.
If you are interested in being trained as a doula for this program, please fill out an interest form. Certification classes will begin in February 2022.
The Healthy Start Coalition unites people and resources to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, children, and their families in Monroe County. To request assistance with baby formula, car seats, diapers, children’s bike helmets, mental health services or to meet other needs for your family, fill out an assistance request.
Healthy Start Coalition Receives Support for Early Childhood Development and Nutrition through United Way Grant.
Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition (FKHSC) is honored to announce receipt of a $7,875 grant from United Way of Collier and the Keys, gratefully allowing their impact to be amplified in the community. These two non-profit organizations are aligned in focus of meeting the needs of families in this community. Specifically, the United Way’s investment will assist in providing client access to nutritional choices and for early childhood support through developmental play groups.
Over the years, the FKHSC has been the go-to agency to help pregnant women, parents and caregivers to make informed choices and to provide appropriate nutritious and healthy food for themselves, their infants, and their families. Baby formula and baby food is made available, as well as support for breastfeeding, to community families.
The community is welcome to participate free of charge in both Healthy Start Coalition developmental play groups: Tot Time and Wiggles & Giggles. These popular groups are held several times a month throughout the Keys. A full schedule of activities can be found at www.keyshealthystart.org or on Facebook on the “Keys Healthy-Start” page.
The Healthy Start Coalition unites people and resources to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, children, and their families in Monroe County. To request assistance with baby formula, car seats, diapers, children’s bike helmets, mental health services or to meet other needs for your family, fill out an assistance request at www.keyshealthystart.org or call 305-293-8424.
Healthy Start offers breastfeeding help
The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition continues to engage with families face-to-face while still offering virtual services. This flexibility allows the coalition to service the many geographically dispersed clients in a more convenient way and provide more individualized support and assistance for families in need. Free resources, including swaddle sacks are offered locally.
SUPPORT SYSTEM: Florida Keys Healthy Start Takes Pressure Off Parents
Parenting is tough enough in the best of times.
The past nine months have been among the worst of times for everyone, including pregnant women, new parents and Keys families in general, but help is available and just a phone call away.
Breastfeeding Support Available at No Cost
The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, wants to reassure new and soon-to-be moms and their families in the Florida Keys that there is free breastfeeding support, including in this time of crisis.
Getting A Healthy Start In The Keys Can Mean Long Journeys
If you live in the Florida Keys, there are some real challenges to having a baby. If you want to go to a hospital, you have two options. One is at mile marker 5 in Key West. The other is to go all the way to on the mainland in Homestead. And if you’re a new patient with Medicaid, it gets even harder.