NICHQ Renamed Lead to Provide Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building to Healthy Start Grant Recipients 

June 27, 2024

BOSTON – For more than 30 years, community-based and community-driven Healthy Start programs across the country have helped improve birth outcomes for moms and babies, including dads to support the entire family, by strengthening communities and improving systems of community care. The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) is proud to announce receiving the Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (SHSPP) award of $3.5M per year for five years from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB).  

This award builds on NICHQ’s role as the Healthy Start Technical Assistance and Support Center (TASC) from 2019-2024, responsible for designing and delivering comprehensive training and technical assistance (TA) for the 105 Healthy Start grantees, 10 Healthy Start Enhanced grantees, and 9 Catalyst for Infant Health Equity grantees across the United States to increase capacity and enhance their ability to eliminate disparities in infant mortality and perinatal outcomes via implementation of community-based program deliverables, such as Community Action Plans, fatherhood services, and community engagement strategies. Training and TA is provided through group training, individualized support, technology transfer activities, and information transfer and dissemination, development of publications, and topical resources for grantees.

“NICHQ exists to create and promote new approaches for lasting systems change to improve children’s health,” said NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “The Healthy Start Technical Assistance and Support Center serves as a primary mechanism to combine voices of national experts with voices that lead from local communities to reach a vision that every child achieves their optimal health. We are excited and committed to continuing to build strong partnerships with grantees who make such needed change.”

“The Healthy Start program has evolved over three and a half decades to become the largest MCH initiative of the MCHB, growing from 15 programs to 105 with this new award. It has proven integrity as a community-based and community-driven initiative that has always valued the community voice,” said Kenn L. Harris, SHSPP TASC Principal Investigator and VP of Engagement and Community Partnerships at NICHQ. “Healthy Start is the nation's best bet to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in infant and maternal mortality. We are proud to continue supporting these Healthy Start grantees, serving as a premier technical assistance center.”

This new announcement is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $17,500,000 with zero percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS. or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) is a mission-driven nonprofit that boldly leads improvements in children’s health by addressing inequities and other complex issues facing families. Read more about NICHQ’s commitment to equity.