The Center’s largest project is the Gadsden Woman to Woman Federal Healthy Start Project. The project was one of the original Federal Healthy Start Projects in the nation awarded in 1997. The Center for Health Equity took over administration of the project in 2000. Over the years the project has evolved, making changes and improvements based on studies of effectiveness as well as new research literature in the area of Maternal and Child Health and the risk factors found to impact poor health and birth outcomes.
The core services provided by the Gadsden Woman to Woman Project remain fixed, including outreach, health education, and case management with an additional emphasis, beyond the prenatal period, on pre-interconception care (periods before and between pregnancy) and maternal depression screening.
In order to enhance these core services to meet best practice standards, the Center consistently looks for other sources of funding to supplement the Gadsden Woman to Woman Project. These efforts have included state funding through the Florida Office of Minority Health that awarded funds to improve and enhance the health education program, as well as funding through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation that provided funds to enhance the case management team to include a bio-psychosocial component that added a nurse, a nutritionist, and a clinical mental health counselor to the team. Additionally, private donations have allowed the Center to include a small food bank.
Beyond the Federal Healthy Start Project (Gadsden Woman to Woman), the Center has also been involved in projects that were statewide initiatives including the Florida Outreach Childbirth Education Program and a program development and evaluation project funded through the Centers for Disease Control to the Florida Department of Health Chronic Disease Program.
The Center was also awarded funding through the federal Health Resources and Services Agency to start up a county wide volunteer initiative that was focused on the faith community.
Currently the focus is on seeking a funding source that would allow for the start up of a Behavioral Health Unit within the Center that would serve the Gadsden County area.