Provider Education & Resources

The Healthy Start Coalition periodically offers Professional Education to Maternal-Child Health care providers on a variety of topics.

When funding is available, Healthy Start provides in-office trainings and seminars to update Health Professionals on relevant topics such as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, Prescription Drug Use during Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Smoking Cessation, and more.

Healthy baby

Useful Resources:

WHO Growth Charts and Breastfeeding Growth Recommendations

 The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new international growth standard statistical distribution  in 2006, which describes the growth of children ages 0 to 59 months living in environments believed to support what WHO researchers view as optimal growth of children in six countries throughout the world, including the U.S. The distribution  shows how infants and young children grow under these conditions, rather than how they do grow in environments that may not support optimal growth.

Click here to read more about WHO growth standards.

Education and CME's:

Clean Start – Preventing Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Despite strong, consistent messaging from healthcare providers about not using illegal drugs during pregnancy, messages regarding other substances such as prescription drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, are inconsistent and confusing.

Clean Start 2 - For Healthcare Providers is an evidence-driven program developed to educate healthcare providers about the substance misuse and abuse problem in our area. In an easy to use online format, Clean Start 2 provides information and resources that will help your staff better address this growing problem.

By the conclusion of this free webinar, you will be able to:

  • Describe the severity of the problem locally.
  • Identify the importance of universal screening for pregnant women.
  • Understand the importance of the health care provider’s role in preventing NAS.
  • Describe the SBIRT screening tool.
  • Identify local agencies for referrals.
Webinar in development. Check back soon! 

Expanding Pediatricians’ Roles in Breastfeeding Support: Continuing Medical Education (CME) Online Tutorial

As more mothers choose to breastfeed, health care professionals are in a unique position to provide the instruction, encouragement and support that mothers and their infants need to be successful. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its policy statement on breastfeeding in 2012. Efforts to help pediatric residents support mothers led to the creation of the AAP’s Breastfeeding Residency Curriculum. This CME is designed to provide you with a refresher course on breastfeeding. It has a practical orientation with a focus on support for mothers after discharge from the hospital.

Pediatricians can make important contributions to the promotion of breastfeeding through encouragement, recommendations, and role modeling. Support and counseling by health professionals has been shown to improve rates, early initiation and total duration of breastfeeding, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers’ decisions are influenced greatly by health professionals’ advice. Mothers may have many different sources of information on breastfeeding coming to them from family, friends, and advertising campaigns, but the most reliable information should be coming from their pediatricians. With their highly visible role in the community and their frequent, continuous interactions with soon-to-be and new parents, pediatricians can be a key component in the promotion and support of breastfeeding, especially in the early days post-partum. A mother may face many challenges that may affect her breastfeeding outcomes in the long run; in those early days, the pediatrician is the person she will rely on for help and answers to her questions.

This 1.5 hour online continuing education tutorial is designed to meet the educational needs of practicing pediatricians and other pediatric primary care providers.
Available here:

Reports, Research, and Tool-kits

The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics Into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics

Many mothers are inappropriately advised to discontinue breastfeeding or avoid taking essential medications because of fears of adverse effects on their infants. This cautious approach may be unnecessary in many cases, because only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated in breastfeeding mothers or associated with adverse effects on their infants. Information to inform physicians about the extent of excretion for a particular drug into human milk is needed but may not be available. Previous statements on this topic from the American Academy of Pediatrics provided physicians with data concerning the known excretion of specific medications into breast milk. More current and comprehensive information is now available on the Internet, as well as an application for mobile devices, at LactMed ( Therefore, with the exception of radioactive compounds requiring temporary cessation of breastfeeding, the reader will be referred to LactMed to obtain the most current data on an individual medication. This report discusses several topics of interest surrounding lactation, such as the use of psychotropic therapies, drugs to treat substance abuse, narcotics, galactagogues, and herbal products, as well as immunization of breastfeeding women. A discussion regarding the global implications of maternal medications and lactation in the developing world is beyond the scope of this report. The World Health Organization offers several programs and resources that address the importance of breastfeeding (see
Abstract available at:

Second Hand Smoke and Exposure in Children

A study published online December 13th in the journal Pediatrics examines the level of secondhand tobacco-smoke exposure in children who live in multi-unit housing (particularly apartments).  Even low levels of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke can put children at greater risk for a variety of illnesses.  The study authors analyzed data from the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and compared tobacco-smoke biomarkers in children ages 6-18 who lived in detached houses (including mobile homes), attached houses, and apartments.  Of 5,002 children who lived in a home where no one smoked inside, blood levels of cotinine (a common marker of tobacco smoke exposure) were higher in those who lived in apartments, in comparison with children in other types of housing.  Children living in apartments had an increase in cotinine of 45% over those living in detached houses, with the increase at 212% for white residents and 46% for black residents (and no significant increase for those of other races/ethnicities).  The study authors concluded that the tobacco smoke may have seeped through walls or shared ventilation systems, and that smoking bans in multi-unit housing may reduce children’s exposure to tobacco smoke. Access the study online – click here.

Healthy Start Screening Tutorials

Prenatal Risk Screen Tutorial 

This tutorial provides basic information about the Healthy Start Coalition, the Healthy Start Program, prenatal eligibility, how to refer clients to Healthy Start, and instructions on how to fill out and score the Prenatal Risk Screen.

Infant Risk Screen Tutorial

This tutorial provides basic information about the Healthy Start Coalition, the Healthy Start Program, infant eligibility, how to refer clients to Healthy Start, and instructions on how to fill out and score the Infant Risk Screen.

If you have any questions about eligibility, referrals, or screening or you would like a to arrange a free training in your office, please contact our Community Liaison, Ryan Belak, at (941) 373-7070.