Healthy Start Coalition
of Miami-Dade

Community Initiatives and Outreach

The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade has evolved as a lead organization in Miami-Dade County for providing services to pregnant women and infants 0 to 3 years of age. With a broad membership in the Coalition and with community based providers of care coordination and wraparound services. The Coalition has the proven capability to successfully ensure the provision of high quality, effective services for our target population. Through new initiatives we are building on our foundation and current programs. The Coalition strives to develop more creative outreach and engagement strategies with the goal of improving the community's knowledge about Healthy Start services and how these services and available resources can impact the rates of infant mortality, pre-term births, low birth weight, improve of pregnancy outcomes, and promote the enhanced birth and development of children ages birth to age 3.

Current Initiatives

Previous Initiatives

If you are interesting in finding out more specific information regarding any of our initiatives and outreach efforts above, we encourage you please e-mail us at: and someone from our Team will be in touch with you.

Community Partners and Initiatives Supported by HSCMD

You may click some of the logos below which will take you directly to the organization's website.

BIHPI Share Consortium for a Healthier Miami Dade the_childrens_trust_logo_color-rgb
NFP Logo MIECHV_logo Enroll America GMCC
39Weeks UWMD_3C_RGB  Florida AHEC Switchboard_Final_Coated_Web
MedicalAssociation MarchofDimes TeachMoreLoveMoreLogo JasmineProject
Goodwill ELC Revised Logo Large ASafeHavenforNewborns Logo Short FIMR
Ounce_Logo_Small DCF healthy families florida national-healthy-mothers-healthy-babies-coalition-logo
sfhha HHS Logo FIU-logo UMHS_Miller1ds
miami-dade chd_clr  AHCA  FPQC Member Badge 2017

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

If a new mother doesn’t get breastfeeding going well in the first few days, she probably won’t be breastfeeding in the next couple of months. Where are the majority of mothers and babies in the first few days after birth? In the maternity hospital. The fact is that most US maternity hospitals score very low when graded on how they optimize mother/baby care. For example, babies are born and are often whisked away from their mothers even when there is no medical reason to do so. Most nurses and doctors receive very little training in breastfeeding medicine and hospitals hand out formula to new mothers that they received for free from the formula companies. Making changes to mother/baby care is crucial to increasing the number of exclusively breastfed infants and overall breastfeeding rates.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and follow the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

West Kendall Baptist Hospital was the first hospital in Miami-Dade County to achieve the Baby Friendly Designation by Baby Friendly USA in 2015. Jackson Health System is Florida’s first entire health system to be designated Baby Friendly by Baby Friendly USA in 2017, with The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial, Jackson North Medical Center, and Jackson South Medical Center achieving the Baby Friendly Designation.  Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade, the Flroida Department of Health in Miami-Dade, our partners, and the community are proud of this great accomplishment. Several other hospitals in Miami-Dade County are currently working toward implementing the ten steps listed above.

To learn more about the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, visit Baby Friendly USA.


Also, the Coalition is proud to help and assist any of our local birthing facilities in obtaining the designation. Throughout the years, the Coalition has recognized those who have continued their efforts in achieving this distinction. Any of our local birthing facility can contact the Coalition for further assistance and guidance in this process. The Coalition understands the complexity and effort that is needed to obtain all requirements to reach this designation. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Coalition via our Contact us Page by clicking here.



Supporting breastfeeding employees is good for business

Breastfeeding employees miss work less often

Business Savings: One-day absences to care for sick children occur more than twice as often for mothers of formula feeding infants.1

Breastfeeding lowers health care cost 2,3

Business Savings: The insurance company CIGNA conducted a 2-year study of 343 employees who participated in their lactation support program, and found that the program resulted in an annual savings of $240,000 in health care expenses, 62 percent fewer prescriptions, and $60,000 savings in reduced absenteeism rates.4

Investing in a worksite lactation support program can yield substantial dividends to the company.

Lower Turnover Rates

Business Savings: Studies have shown companies with lactation support programs have retention rates of between 83% and 94% compared to the national average of only 59%5,6,7

Additional Health Care Savings

Business Savings: Mutual of Omaha found that health care costs for newborns are three times lower for babies whose mothers participate in their company’s maternity and lactation program. Per person health care costs were $2,146 more for employees who did not participate in the program, with a yearly savings of $115,881 in health care claims for the breastfeeding mothers and babies.1

Higher Productivity and Loyalty 8

Business Savings: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power found that a lactation support program for mothers, fathers, and partners of male employees made a dramatic difference in reducing turnover and absenteeism rates for both male and female workers. Employees felt more positive about the company as a result of the program and 67% intended to make it their long term employer. 9

Companies with worksite lactation support programs enjoy positive public relations.

What are the components of a successful Worksite Lactation Program?

A comprehensive program that includes the following four components has been shown in business environments to provide the greatest return on investment:

1. Privacy for mothers to express milk.
This can be a woman’s private office (if it can be locked) or an onsite, designated lactation room with an electrical outlet where breastfeeding employees can use a pump to express milk during the work period.
2. Flexible breaks
Women need to express milk about every 3 hours, or two to three times during a typical work day. Each milk expression time takes around 15 minutes, plus time to go to and from the lactation room.
3. Education
Employer-provided information and resources accessible through the worksite during pregnancy and after the baby is born help prepare women for balancing the requirements for breastfeeding with their job responsibilities. This information is also beneficial for expectant fathers. Companies that provide lactation information and support for male employees and their partners have lower absenteeism rates among men and lower health insurance claims.
4. Support
A positive, accepting attitude from upper management, supervisors, and coworkers helps breastfeeding employees feel confident in their ability to continue working while breastfeeding.


1. Cohen R, Mrtek MB & Mrtek RG. (1995). Comparison of maternal absenteeism and infant illness rates among breastfeeding and formula-feeding women in two corporations. American Journal of Health Promotion, 10 (2), 148-153.

2. Ball T & Wright A. (1999). Health care costs of formula- feeding in the first year of life. Pediatrics, 103 (4), 871-876.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2007). Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evidence report, Technology Assessment, Number 153.

4. Dickson V, Hawkes C, Slusser W, Lange L, & Cohen R. (2000). The positive impact of a corporate lactation program on breastfeeding initiation and duration rates: help for the working mother. Unpublished manuscript. Presented at the Annual Seminar for Physicians, co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and La Leche League International, on July 21, 2000.

5. Mutual of Omaha. (2001). Prenatal and lactation education reduces newborn health care costs. Omaha, NE: Mutual of Omaha

6. Ortiz, J, McGilligan K, & Kelly P. (2004). Duration of breast milk expression among working mothers enrolled in an employer-sponsored lactation program. Pediatric Nursing, 30(2):111-119.

7. EEO Trust. (2001). New Zealand’s Best Employers in Work and Life 2001. Auckland, NZ.

8. Galtry J. (1997). Lactation and the labor market: breastfeeding, labor market changes, and public policy in the United States. Health Care Women Int., 18, 467-480.

9. Cohen R, Lange L & Slusser W. (2002). A description of a male-focused breastfeeding promotion corporate lactation program. Journal of Human Lactation, 18(1), 61-65.

10. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2005) Division of Labor Force Statistics, Washington, D.C. Available at:

11. National Immunization Survey. (2005). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available online at: breastfeeding/data/NIS_data/data_2005.htm 12. Slusser W. et al. (2004). Breast milk expression in the. workplace: a look at frequency and times. Journal of Human Lactation 20(2):164-169.

12. The Business Case for Breastfeeding Toolkit (2011) Department of Health and Human Services, USA. Available at:

HLS_8807Also, the Coalition is proud to help and assist any organization in obtaining the designation. Through various local efforts, the Coalition has recognized any organization for their support. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Coalition via our Contact us Page by clicking here.