EveryStep Receives $5 Million Grant to Maintain Healthy Start Project

Healthy Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced recently that EveryStep (formerly HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurse Service of Iowa) received nearly $5 million in grant funding over the next five years to serve families in need in our community. 

The funds, which were awarded through HRSA’s Healthy Start Initiative: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health, will allow EveryStep to continue to provide services through the Des Moines Healthy Start Project. 

“We are thrilled to have been selected to receive these grant funds that will sustain evidence-based programming that strengthens our communities through empowering vulnerable women and their children who need access to quality care,” said Tray Wade, president & CEO of EveryStep. 

Since 1997, pregnant women and families with children under the age of 18 months who reside in a seven zip code area have been eligible for Healthy Start services, with a focus on reducing disparities in infant mortality, preterm births, and low birth weight rates. The goal of Healthy Start is to ensure that women experiencing high rates of poverty, limited access to care, and other socioeconomic factors can have healthy pregnancies and raise healthy children.

Case managers and outreach workers, who speak a total of 26 different languages and dialects, provide comprehensive support services to families. These services include home visitation, parent education, linkages to mental health, support and parenting groups, resource and referral services, and health education. 

“These funds will allow EveryStep to continue to make a lasting impact on hundreds of women, children, and families in the Des Moines area, ensuring they have the best chance to thrive,” said Cindy Winn, Healthy Start director for EveryStep. 

EveryStep and the Des Moines Healthy Start Project were chosen to receive the HRSA funds based on their long track record of providing quality services and reducing disparities.

Funds are also received for the project from Polk County Early Childhood Iowa to expand the service to all of Polk County and to serve pregnant women and families with children under the age of six.  The project served approximately 630 families and 710 children last year. 

“We are grateful to receive these funds to carry out the important work of the Des Moines Healthy Start Project,” said Darby Taylor, vice president of community health services for EveryStep. “The program has shown time and again the ability to provide community members with the services they need to succeed. With continued funding, EveryStep strives to increase positive outcomes for women, children and families in the area.”