"Our Mission is to Improve the Health and Well-being of Pregnant Women, Infants, and Young Children in Sarasota County."



Executive Director


Associate Executive Director

Patricia MCMAHON

Development Director


Connect Intake Coordinator

Laura WINN

Office Manager

Care Coordination Team

The core of the Healthy Start Program is Care Coordination, a team of nursing and social service professionals dedicated to serving families in our community. They meet families where they are best served, providing individualized care, support, education, and in-depth management. If additional help is needed, our Wraparound Services team is available for expanded, specialized services to address each mom’s specific needs.

Our Care Coordination team is the heart of Healthy Start. They serve moms and families in our community, regardless of income, insurance, or residency status, providing confidential and professional services at no charge to the client. Healthy Start clients come from all walks of life – they are your neighbors, your friends, or your family. Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan, and we need an extra hand: breastfeeding is more challenging than expected, our postpartum experience isn’t what we thought it would be. Don’t suffer in silence, reach out. Healthy Start is there to help, because every baby deserves a healthy start.


Care Coordination Contact:

Mara Cunha, MSW, Program Supervisor

Anne Gaines, BA

Khady Diarra, BS

Paola Caicedo, MSW

Cheleon (Shay) Waters-Sykes, BS
941-861-3321 (South County)

Ana Bellino, MSW

Odhet Ortega

Client Testimonial:

“An unplanned pregnancy is a challenge in it self. When you add to that raising two older children (one of which was diagnosed with autism) and a lack of a true support system, you panic! I was embarrassed that I had found myself in this position. However, I was willing to embrace the challenge and come out stronger.

This pregnancy was met with many obstacles including the emotional death of my Dad to pancreatic cancer. For awhile I lost focus of the bright side. I was already struggling. How was I going to make this happen? How was I going to hold it all together? Am I making the right choice or being selfish?

Luckily, for me, I had [my Healthy Start Care Coordinator] Jennifer! Jennifer could walk into my home visits and completely turn things around. She had an uncanny ability to get me back on track. Slowly mounds of pressure were relieved. Somehow every time she would give me a lead they worked out, which is not common for me."

Megan M.