Healthy Start Program To Expand

A program that aims to reduce infant mortality in west Louisville is expanding.

Norton Healthcare has pledged the Healthy Start program more than $308,000. Metro Government started the program in 1998 to address west Louisville’s exceptionally high death rate for children under the age of one.

Public Health Director Dr. Adewale Troutman says the program has been successful so far.

“We had a span of four years where we actually had zero infant deaths for women who were in the program,” he says. “The ones who were not in the program in that same neighborhood continued to have the same rates of infant mortality, which in some neighborhoods is three times what it is for white babies.”

The grant from Norton will help the program provide service to 200 additional families. Troutman says it could also help sucure federal dollars.

“We think that because we’ve been drawing in local support, it will help the feds see that we’ve got the opportunity to sustain this program over a long period of time and I think we’ll get some additional support because of that,” he says.

Healthy Start is also funded by federal grants, but Troutman says local support is essential to keep the program in operation.