Public Health Services
Public Health Promotion Division
About Public Health Services
Contact Information
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HP[1] Apache County Public Health Services District
Public Health Promotion Division
“Healthy People – Healthy Environment”

Debbie Padilla Division Manager
Baby Sprouts/Health Start
Rochelle Hubbell-Spencer MA, CLC, CPST
Program Coordinator
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Our Mission:
To develop and implement prevention programs for women and their families that establishes healthy birth outcomes and healthy behaviors.
Why is this program needed?
The program was developed to address health, environmental and stress factors that can impact birth outcomes and the development of infants and children. It is recommended that all pregnant women receive early prenatal care starting in the first trimester because of the potential health benefits for both mothers and infants. Research has shown that inadequate prenatal care has been associated with increased risk for low birth weight, prematurity, infant mortality, and maternal mortality. Low birth weight babies are 40 times more likely to die in the first month of life, and are at a greater risk for long-term health and developmental problems.
How families benefit from the Baby Sprouts/Health Start Program:

The Baby Sprouts/Health Start programs utilize health educators to provide education, support, and advocacy services to pregnant/postpartum women and their families in targeted communities in southern Apache County. The health educators live in and reflect the ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of the communities they serve. Communities served include: Alpine, Concho, Eagar, Greer, Sanders, St. Johns, Springerville and Vernon.

Families receive home visits and case management with oversight by nurses and social workers, through the enrolled child’s second year of life. Pregnant women are connected to prenatal care providers and receive on-going education about fetal development and health behaviors that can impact birth outcomes. Mothers are screened for postpartum depression and receive information regarding inter-conception health. Family advocacy begins at enrollment; clients are referred to various services as needed and assistance with accessing those services.

Education provided to families is tailored to meet their individual needs. Education offered may include: child development, home safety, immunizations, and vehicle safety. Children are screened on a periodic basis using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to identify potential development delays. Families may be referred to appropriate providers when needed. Baby Sprouts/Health Start health educators are certified child passenger safety technicians, are breast feeding and massage specialists, and acquire new skills and knowledge on an on-going basis to ensure they are providing the most accurate information to families they serve. The program has successfully implemented prenatal alcohol and intervention screenings to all enrolled prenatal clients in an effort to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancies; therefore reducing the range of effects associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorders. Bi-lingual Health Educators with the program are available to enroll and assist Spanish-speaking families into the program. Hablamos Espanol!

What are the goals of the program?

  • To prevent low birth weight in infants
  • Increase care for high-risk pregnant women
  • To ensure that every program child is appropriately immunized and has a medical home.
  • To provide health education to pregnant/postpartum women and their families on topics ranging from prenatal care, parenting, preconception/inter-conception education, breast feeding and well childcare to safety and other issues
  • To screen for early identification of developmental delays and make appropriate referrals for treatment
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