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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. Read below to learn more about BHSI services. 

BHSI also coordinates the Community Action Network (CAN), which is a community coalition that focuses on reducing the inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes through policy strategies. More information on CAN is located at the bottom of this page. ​

BHSI is a free and voluntary program open to women in Boston who are pregnant or parenting children up to the age of 18 months.

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.

Below is a list of sites that offer BHSI services. Contact sites directly to learn how to enroll in their BHSI services.

BHSI SitesPhone Number
Boston Medical Center - Teen and Tot Program (617) 414-4528
Bowdoin Street Health Center (617) 754-0101
Codman Square Health Center(617) 822-8387
​Healthy Baby / Healthy Child Program
Mattapan Community Health Center​
(617) 898-9063
Whittier Street Health Center
(617) 989-3024
(617) 989-3070

The Community Action Network, or CAN for short, is a group of community residents, representatives from community-based organizations, healthcare, government, and other groups 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 posit​iv​e 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​

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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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: