Since January of this year Vicki Sirockman the newly appointed executive director of Healthy Start, Inc. has been striving to carry out the organization’s 24-year-old mandate of focusing on the need to strengthen and enhance community systems of maternal and infant care. One of her goals she said is to work toward stabilizing the agency after its recent funding cuts.
“We have lost 75 percent of the funding we had 10 years ago.” The numerical loss she calculates to be a $6 million dollar loss declining from $8 million to $2 million.
Healthy Start Pittsburgh, headquartered in North Point Breeze is a national demonstration initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is designed to identify a broad range of community-driven strategies and interventions aimed at reducing the infant mortality rate. The nonprofit organization services Southwestern Pennsylvania with a focus in areas targeting low-income, predominantly Black inner-city neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Its six communities of concentration include the North Side, Center City, East End, Wilkinsburg, South Side, Western communities including Duquesne and Braddock.