SAN LEANDRO -- The federal government is awarding nearly $10million to sustain an Alameda County program that works with African-American women in low-income neighborhoods to prevent infant mortality and improve early childhood health.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Wednesday that Alameda County's Healthy Start Initiative is one of 87 organizations nationwide to win the latest round of grants for programs targeting the needs of vulnerable mothers and infants.

The county public health program organizes home visits, helps pregnant and parenting women navigate the health system and find essential resources, and provides other education activities serving hundreds of black families in East Oakland, West Oakland and the unincorporated areas of Ashland and Cherryland.

"It's targeting these census tracts and these neighborhoods where the need is greatest," said Hilary Crowley, a consultant who works with the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.

The grant runs from this fall through May 2019 and allows for the continuation of a program that might otherwise have had to shrink.

Among the health education programs the grant will fund are a Club Mom empowerment group and support services such as a Boot Camp for New Dads.



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