Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc.’s (HSCP) role as a United Way Suncoast (UWS) strategic community partner moves into a new era this month with the launch of a multi-year funding commitment from the venerable nonprofit leader.
United Way Suncoast kicked off its new fiscal year on July 1 by initiating the distribution of a three-year grant that will deliver $270,000 to Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas. HSCP will use the funds to support early childhood literacy through the Healthy Start program. HSCP will provide the tools needed that will enable families to increase their child’s early literacy resulting in more Healthy Start infants and children will have enhanced child development and improved readiness for early learning. Healthy births contribute to the overall health of HSCP community. Healthy babies are more likely to grow into healthy children, especially if early detection in delays are identified before they start school. It is estimated that nearly 17% of children have developmental delays, learning disorders, and behavioral and social-emotional problems.* Research shows that only about 30% of these children are identified as needing help before school begins.
HSCP Executive Director, Mary Jo Plews, LCSW expressed excitement about the support. “Receiving the United Way Suncoast grant is humbling, energizing, and an incredible opportunity. Thank you doesn’t cover it. Healthy births contribute to the overall health of our community. Healthy babies are more likely to grow into healthy children, especially if early detection in delays are identified before they start school. UWS funding will allow us to deepen our impact and further support early literacy for those we serve.”
HSCP is a community based, non-profit charitable organization focused on improving the health and wellbeing of expectant and new families. The Coalition is one of thirty-two throughout Florida established in 1992 to implement the provisions of Florida’s Healthy Start legislation. Florida is the only state that universally screens all mothers and babies, and infant mortality has declined 34% over the last 30 years. The mission of the Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc. is to promote healthy pregnancies, babies, and families by providing services and facilitating access to resources through community partnerships while advancing racial equity and cultural responsiveness.
The community investment represents a first in United Way Suncoast’s 98-year history — a three-year commitment to 88 nonprofits that will total nearly $18 million by fiscal year 2025. In past years, United Way Suncoast issued annual grants. The new approach will empower Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas to boost the strategic planning behind the program and grow together with United Way Suncoast.
“HSCP strategic community partners requested a change to multi-year funding and the reasons are clear,” United Way Suncoast CEO Jessica Muroff said. “It’ll create trends and allow us to measure true impact; it’ll reduce the strain of the application process for the partners and UWS, and it’ll strengthen HSCP ability to tell stories and fundraise.”
To learn more about how to give of your time, talent, and treasure, visit www.HealthyStartPinellas.org. You can learn more about United Way Suncoast at www.UnitedWaySuncoast.org.
For more information go to www.healthystartpinellas.org or contact
Mary Jo Plews, LCSW
Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc.
(727) 507-6330 ext. 221