Chicago Healthy Start (HSTART)
Bureau of Maternal and Infant Health
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Pregnant women or mothers parenting a child under the age of two. Women must reside in the Chicago Community Areas of Near North, Near South, Near West, Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Washington Park, Greater Grand Crossing.


To reduce the infant mortality rate (the number of babies who die before reaching one year of age) and related health problems for both mother and baby.


Assistance in getting well child care, immunization, family planning, smoking cessation, prenatal care, social services, WIC, transportation, health education and GED classes, screening for perinatal depression, and Interconceptional Case Management.

Delivery Method

Services are provided through one of four Chicago Healthy Start Family Centers. These centers are operated by Erie Family Health Center, Winfield-Moody Health Center, West Side Future and Henry Booth House.

Program Data

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $1,421.6 $1,775.0 $1,775.0 $1,775.0
Number of Grantees 4 4 4 4
Number Served* 2,235 2,195 2,008 2,806

*Number served may not increase year to year due to women staying in inter-conceptional care for 2 years.

Program Effectiveness

The typical participant of Chicago Healthy Start can be described as an inner-city African American, Latino, Asian female who is at high risk for a poor pregnancy outcome. She is likely to have a disease that can affect pregnancy, to have been homeless, to have low educational attainment and or have a history of multiple pregnancies, including preterm birth.

87% of pregnant women enrolled in Healthy Start initiate prenatal care in the first trimester, and over 80% are enrolled in WIC. Greater than 90% have a medical home.