Healthy family


Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (SHSPP)

Healthy Start is a community-based federal program seeking to eliminate disparities in infant mortality and perinatal outcomes by working to improve systems of community care in communities with infant mortality rates at least 1.5 times the U.S. national average. The Healthy Start program currently consists of 101 projects in 34 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C., which support improved perinatal and family health outcomes in Healthy Start communities. In a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Heath Bureau’s (MCHB) Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS), the Healthy Start Technical Assistance & Support Center (TASC) at NICHQ is designing and delivering exceptional capacity building training and performance support to all 101 Healthy Start programs.


Status: Active

June 2019 to May 2024

  • Who: NICHQ’s Healthy Start TA and Support Center (TASC) serves Healthy Start grant recipients, including non-profit community-based organizations and larger community foundations; community health centers/federally-qualified heath centers; independent Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program administrators; health care and hospital systems; universities; Tribal Nations; and city, county or state health departments working in collaboration with community partners. TASC works with Healthy Start project staff (e.g., community health workers, case managers, fatherhood coordinators, physicians, certified lactation counselors, evaluators, and others), as well as members of each Healthy Start program’s Community Action Network (CAN), an advisory body of community stakeholders (e.g., consumers, social services, faith communities, and community-based organizations). To execute its capacity-building and support activities, TASC partners with subject matter experts and stakeholders from maternal and child health, fatherhood, health and racial equity, reproductive justice, and other fields.
  • Funder: The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Heath Bureau (HRSA, MCHB).
  • Our Role: In partnership with HRSA MCHB, TASC provides training and capacity-building assistance to support Healthy Start grantees in improving their service delivery and meeting the Healthy Start benchmarks and four approaches. TASC conducts a variety of activities (e.g., topical webinars, cohorts, learning academies, training and certification scholarships, individualized technical assistance, virtual and in-person meetings) aimed at strengthening and enhancing Healthy Start projects’ ability to reduce maternal and infant health disparities in their communities. TASC equips grantees with best practices in maternal and child health; facilitates grantee-to-grantee sharing of expertise and lessons learned; enables grantees to conduct ongoing evaluation of activities for effectiveness; and builds program capacity to work with community partners to improve health and social service systems for women, men, infants and families.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please email: [email protected] or visit

This webpage 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 $12,322,812. 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.