Virginia Healthy Start Initiative/Loving Steps Program
The Virginia Healthy Start Initiative/Loving Steps Program works to eliminate significant disparities in perinatal health experienced by African-American women and their families in order to prevent infant mortality and low weight births. Loving Care services are provided to pregnant women and teens, parenting women and teens, infants and toddlers in the city of Norfolk. It is a partnership between the:
- Virginia Department of Health,
- Regional Perinatal Councils, and
- Virginia Home Visiting Consortium.
Loving Steps offers intensive case management services and care coordination by a multidisciplinary team. It employs nurses, dietitians and community health workers to provide services to women and infants who are at risk for poor perinatal outcomes. These professionals:
- screen participants for medical, nutritional, social, economic and environmental risks,
- identify service gaps, and
- develop a plan of care to address those gaps and improve their health status.
Referrals are provided to needed services and resources with ongoing follow-up to assure access to those services/resources.