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Boston Healthy Start Initiative (BHSI)


The Boston Healthy Start Initiative has been part of a national initiative to reduce racial inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes for the past 25 years. BHSI provides direct support to pregnant and parenting women, children and families through care coordination, connection to resources, health education, and advocacy.

BHSI also coordinates the Community Action Network (CAN), which is a group of community residents, community-based organizations, and health centers that are working together to reduce racial inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes in Boston through policy and community level changes. ​​

CAN is an opportunity to network, make a positive impact in your community, take on leadership roles, participate in advocacy activities, gain and practice new skills, and much more!

If you are interested in learning more about CAN, please visit the CAN webpage​

Read below to learn more about BHSI services. 


  • BHSI is a free and voluntary program open to women living in Boston who are pregnant or parenting children up to the age of 2 and identify as Black or Latina.​

  • Women who enroll in BHSI have the opportunity to work one on one with staff called 'Family Partners' who support them to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies

BHSI Family Partners work with women and families to support them in different ways depending on their needs, including:

  • Discussing information related to healthy pregnancies, infant health, and parenting such as prenatal nutrition, safe sleep, breastfeeding and infant feeding, infant safety, child development, and more;

  • Connecting women to resources and programs that help them access food, education, employment, housing, child care, and other support as needed;

  • Helping to coordinate medical care and other services such as father engagement and support, home visiting nurses, WIC nutritional support, legal services, immigration support, etc. and;

  • ​Supporting families to advocate for their needs.

How to get more information and/or enroll into BHSI services 

Below is a list of sites that offer BHSI services. 


BHSI SitesContact NamePhone Number
Boston Health Care for the HomelessGeorgia Thomas(857) 654-1300
Boston Medical CenterBeth Monahan(617) 638-8000
Boston Medical Center - Teen and Tot Program Natalie Joseph-Pierre(617) 638-8000
Bowdoin Street Health Center Mary Kate Little(617) 754-0100
Codman Square Health CenterAdeola Ogungbadero(617) 822-8199
Dimock Center ​Rachel Priess(617) 442-8800
Mattapan Health CenterSharon Callender(617) 898-9053
Whittier Street Health Center
Christine Louro(617) 989-3004

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The Boston Healthy Start Initiative is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Boston Public Health Commission.


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