Camden Healthy Start (CHS) has operated continuously for 18 years, and over that time, has helped more than 7,000 participants. CHS staff work closely with women and their families to overcome the personal challenges and roadblocks they encounter when seeking health and social services. The program’s success in the community is evident:
- More women in Camden seek prenatal care in the first three months of pregnancy.
- Almost all families served by CHS have a family doctor.
- More women return to see their obstetrician for a 6 week check-up or well-woman visit.
- More women are breastfeeding their babies for 6 months or longer.
- Many fathers have learned about how to care for their children and about the important role they play in their child’s life.
CHS has also contributed to improvements in the health care, social services and education systems in Camden:
- A coordinated system for connecting families to home visiting and other resources in the community reduced duplication of services and assisted busy professionals to help their patients by sending referrals through an electronic “single point of entry” system.
- Services were added to help women and families affected by substance use.
- School-based professionals supported and educated pregnant and parenting teens.
- Immigrant families found support and a warm connection to legal and other valuable resources.
CHS is a program of the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative (SNJPC), the state-licensed Maternal and Child Health Consortium for South Jersey. The Cooperative operates 20 programs and services in seven counties across the South Jersey region. Through its association with SNJPC, CHS has access to a wealth of resources, expertise and knowledge. Financial support comes through the federal Healthy Start initiative.