December 2011 – Jashia was 19 and uninsured when she discovered she was pregnant. She had no idea what to do or how to care for her unborn child. She turned to the Martin County Healthy Start Coalition’s Prenatal Outreach Center in Port Salerno, Florida for help.
The Center connected Jashia to prenatal care at the local health department. Educators helped Jashia learn about the importance of early and consistent prenatal care, and the nutritional and health needs of her growing child. “With my first baby on the way – I didn’t know what to do. The women at the Prenatal Outreach Center got me on track,” Jashia recalled.
Jashia was eager to follow the Center’s recommendations to ensure a healthy pregnancy and positive birth outcome. She received safe sleeping education, infant CPR training and health literacy education. In April 2008, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Later, Jashia discovered she was pregnant with her second child. She was reconnected to prenatal care and again took advantage of the educational opportunities at the Center. Her son was born as healthy as his sister!
Jashia married her children’s father shortly after Tyrone’s birth and is currently obtaining her certification to become a child care provider. She is grateful for the assistance she received at the Prenatal Outreach Center.
Allegany Franciscan Ministries has awarded three grants totaling $377,000 to the Healthy Start Coalition to support the Prenatal Outreach Center, assisting primarily African American and Hispanic women like Jashia who do not have access to health care or information. One grant supported a companion program involving fathers in prenatal and infant care. The Center’s Executive Director, Lisa Olds, says she and her team “have been blessed with the funds to open our outreach center. Without, this fabulous family would have been lost and without care!”