Chipola Healthy Start Coalition

Calhoun & Liberty Counties

Program Manager: Marissa Barfield
Care Coordinators: Yolanda Cooper, Katrina Sims, Lorenza Johnson

Address: 19611 SR 20 West, Blountstown, FL 32424
Phone: (850) 674-5645
Fax: (850) 674-5420
Address: 10971 NW Spring St, Bristol, FL 32321
Phone: (850) 643-2292
Fax: (850) 643-2306

Girlology: August 10th

Success in CALHOUN County

Ms. Maria Parra came into the Calhoun County Healthy Start office last year to meet Care Coordinator Yolanda Cooper; she had just found out she would soon be a mom for the third time. Maria Parra and her third baby.Yolanda was ready to help get her pregnancy off to the best start, and through the coordinated use of services and support, she helped Maria with resources and education immediately. From that day forward, Yolanda continued to visit Maria at home, teaching her about such things as the benefits of breastfeeding, parenting, and education on a variety of important topics.

Unfortunately, Maria later contacted Yolanda to let her know that her situation had some turns for the worse regarding her residence. She was looking at being homeless and needed help with financial resources. Yolanda jumped right in, seeking housing and support for Maria, her two sons, and unborn baby. Yolanda is very happy to report that today Maria is back in a home with all three children, now with her new baby daughter, Keily. Maria expressed her immense gratitude to Yolanda for providing her with constant support and helping her through a tough time.

Pictured is Maria with her newborn daughter, Keily who was born on January 9, weighing 6 pounds 4 ounces. Mother and baby are both doing well.


Calhoun/Liberty Healthy Start Hosts Comprehensive Childbirth Series

Marissa Barfield

    The Calhoun/Liberty Healthy Start program held a four-week comprehensive childbirth series, “Beautiful Beginnings,” at the Florida Department of Health in Calhoun County. The class was held on Thursday evenings from 5-8 pm. Six mothers-to-be learned all about the childbirth process, breastfeeding, SIDS prevention, newborn care, and postpartum in a fun, interactive class setting. Each participant received a pack-and-play and a sleep sack for completing the course. Calhoun/Liberty Healthy Start will be hosting this class quarterly in the community to realize their mission to decrease infant mortality, while increasing breastfeeding rates and awareness.

    Pictured from left to right (back): Care Coordinator Yolanda Cooper, Kayla Barton, Erin Glass, Brittny Bodiford, Susan Brown, Care Coordinators Katrina Sims and Cindy Grantham; front: Lorena Mazariegos and Silvia Aguilar.

Healthy Start Grateful for Spirit of Giving

Marissa Barfield

    The Blountstown United Methodist Church ladies group hosted a drive for baby items to support Calhoun-Liberty Healthy Start. Mrs. Alva Martin spearheaded the project by sitting down with Healthy Start Program Manager Marissa Barfield to discuss the items that community members needed most. After a list of essentials were made, Mrs. Martin went to work, along with the lovely ladies in her church group. The drive was advertised within the church, and members started bringing in items to help the needy women in Calhoun and Liberty Counties. The ladies group collected items for the month of September. Also, there were several handmade items that were donated.

    Mrs. Martin called when the drive ended, and the Healthy Start staff went down to the church to pick up the items that were donated. “I was shocked when I saw the number of items that were given,” Marissa Barfield stated.

    The generosity of the church members came in the form of diapers, blankets, wipes, baby wash, lotions, diaper rash cream, clothes, and many other basic care items for new babies. The items donated will be utilized as care coordinators identify clients who need help to care for, and nurture, their new little loved ones!

    The Coalition can’t thank Blountstown United Methodist Church enough for their giving hearts and generosity to our community.

    Pictured left to right in the front are Ms. Wyrick, Ms. Stephens, Katrina Sims, Ms. Schruefer, Yolanda Cooper, and Ms. Martin. In the back row are Ms. Alford, Marissa Barfield and Cindy Grantham.

Show Your Love Campaign Supporting Prenatal Health

Marissa Barfield

  • Each year, about one in every 33 babies born in the United States is affected by a birth defect, a leading cause of death in the first year of life.
  • We know that women who improve their health before pregnancy can be healthier mothers and have healthier babies. Healthier women have less chance of having other problems with pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, miscarriage, or preterm labor. Their babies have less chance for problems, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, high birth weight, or stillbirth.
  • Preconception health refers to the health of women during their childbearing years before and between pregnancies.
  • It is important for women of childbearing age to take steps to quit smoking, get up to date on shots, avoid alcohol and tobacco, maintain a healthy weight, and get chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure under control before pregnancy.
  • In Calhoun and Liberty counties, Healthy Start is participating in the national campaign, Show Your Love, which is designed to encourage all women of childbearing age to take steps to improve their health before getting pregnant.
  • Because 49% of pregnancies in the U.S. are not planned, all women of childbearing age are urged to take steps to improve their health now.