Healthy Start Screening

The Florida Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen is a simple, brief questionnaire that helps identify factors in a pregnant woman’s life and environment, both medical and psychosocial that might limit growth and development of her infant.  The Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen is the first step in introducing your patients to the many supportive services of the Healthy Start or other Pinellas County Maternal and Child Health Home Visiting Programs.

The Healthy Start Program offers pregnant women, infants and young children and their families services that promote healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. All services are provided based on risk factors, not income or insurance status. Any mom can have a condition that will put her baby at risk; therefore, all pregnant women should be encouraged to fill out a Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen with each pregnancy!  Services include:  care coordination, home visiting services, breastfeeding education and support, childbirth preparation, parenting support, smoking cessation, nutritional guidance, psychosocial counseling, doula support and other services.

Prenatal Screen Instructions:  

Cindy McNulty, Community Affairs Manager, provides one-on-one training and screening instruments for all prenatal care providers in Pinellas County.  After staff is trained, she should be contacted again as new employees are hired or transferred into this screeningresponsibility to properly screen and score the tool.  In addition to personal training, detailed provider instructions for completing the screen are on the back of the white copy of the screen and scoring instructions are on the back of the pink copy.  Once the patient’s score is determined, Healthy Start Case Management Services should be offered if:

  1. The prenatal screening score is six (6) or more, or
  2. The prenatal screening score is less than six (6) and the patient is at risk for an adverse outcome based on factors other than score, including:
    1. maternal illness (requiring ongoing medical care, i.e., obesity, gestational diabetes or hypertension) (question 21)
    2. homelessness
    3. domestic violence (question 9)
    4. HIV status
    5. substance abuse
    6. mental illness (untreated or diagnosed, i.e., severe depression or suicidal tendencies) (questions 6, 7 & 8)
    7. developmental or intellectual disability
    8. lack of supports
    9. child abuse or neglect

For those patients who are referred to Healthy Start:  Once a confidential screen has been received in the Registration Department, moms are contacted by Healthy Start Staff to complete the registration process and are offered care coordination by one of the following programs: Healthy Start; Parents as Teachers +, Healthy Families, Nurse Family Partnership or Healthy Start at All Children’s Hospital.

In order to provide services to clients in a timely manner, the white copies of screening forms must be mailed WEEKLY!  A copy is given to the patient and a copy must be placed in their medical record to prove that you are following Florida Statute 383.14 by offering Healthy Start to all clients.

Cindy McNulty provides labels for mailing the screening forms to the Registration Department:

Pinellas County Health Department

c/o Healthy Start

Dr. M. L. King Street North

St. Petersburg, FL  33701


For personal training or more information, contact:

Cindy McNulty, Community Affairs Manager

The Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc.

Office # – (727) 507-6330, ext. 229

Cell # – (727) 365-2636

       Thanks to all of you for making our community a healthy one!