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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Healthy Start

Florida Department of Health in Hardee County

Healthy Start begins with preconception counseling and includes prenatal care, postpartum care, delivery, infant care and targeted support services that address identified risks.

Healthy Start offers universal screening for all Florida pregnant women and infants to ensure that early care is targeted to those families where there is the best chance of preventing or minimizing adverse outcomes. During 2002, a total of 101,600 women and 147,944 infants were screened for Healthy Start.

The most prevalent risk factors among these women include whether the woman is black, unmarried, has less than a high school education, receives late or no prenatal care, or uses tobacco during pregnancy.

The range of Healthy Start services available to identified women and infants include:

  1. Information and referral
  2. Comprehensive assessment of service needs in light of family and community resources.
  3. Ongoing care coordination and support to assure access to needed services.
  4. Psychosocial, nutritional and smoking cessation counseling.
  5. Childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting support and education
  6. Home visiting


Other Services Provided:

Car Seat Safety

  • Offered in English and Spanish
  • Monthly car seat inspection and education, by appointment only
  • $20 if new seat is needed

Childbirth Education

  • Free to Healthy Start participants or $50 for non-participating couples
  • New Classes begin monthly, offered in English and Spanish
  • Each group will consist of 4 classes, each class is 3 hours long
  • Recommend that couples attend when 7 months into pregnancy

Infant Massage

  • Unique bonding opportunity for parents and infants
  • Series of 3 classes each 1 hour long
  • Classes offered in English and Spanish
  • Classes are free to Healthy Start participants or $20 for the series for non-Healthy Start


  • Offered in English and Spanish
  • Covers six topics from newborn appearance to safety issues
  • Classes held every other week for 2 hours
  • Free to Healthy Start participants or $20 for non-participants for series