Information on this page is provided by the HRSA Office of Epidemiology and Research and DS Federal.


The Healthy Start Program, created in 1991, is a federal initiative aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes for women and children.  Over the past 25 years, the program has grown from a small demonstration project to a national program serving 100 grantees in nearly 37 states and Washington, DC.  Administered by the Division of Healthy Start and Perinatal Services (DHSPS) within the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the program was transformed in 2014 to emphasize standardized approaches to improving maternal health outcomes and reducing disparities in perinatal outcomes in the United States. In particular, the newly-focused Healthy Start program applies evidence-based practices, community collaboration, organizational performance monitoring, and quality improvement to service delivery for high-risk pregnant women, infants, and children up to the age of two.

In order to understand the implementation and overall impact of the newly-transformed Healthy Start program and its components, MCHB is undertaking a national evaluation of the program’s implementation, participant utilization of Healthy Start services, and outcomes.  The goal of the national evaluation is to determine the effect of the program on changes in participant-level characteristics.  This goal is driven by the needs of the primary Healthy Start stakeholders, which include MCHB/HRSA, Healthy Start grantees, participants, partners, and experts in maternal and child health.

Contact Information

In order to better serve the needs of all grantees, we encourage you to fully participate in all webinars that are offered on the relevant topics, and to review the FAQs and other pertinent documents shared directly via email or posted at the EPIC Center website.  We also ask that you share this information, as appropriate, with all staff involved in any element of the implementation process. If your question is still not answered, please send an email to the appropriate point of contact below, as well as copy your Project Officer.

Reporting Monthly Aggregate-level Data

Download and complete the Healthy Start Aggregate Data Reporting Template. Refer to the corresponding Healthy Start Aggregate Data Reporting Guide for instructions on how to download, due dates, and where to send your data.

Reporting Monthly Client-level Data to the HSMED

Beginning in January 2017 Healthy Start program grantees are expected to submit data based on the screening tools as a condition of their grant awards. Data will be submitted monthly through the Healthy Start Monitoring and Evaluation Data System (HSMED).

These documents are intended for Healthy Start technical and/or administrative staff that must collect and report Healthy Start client-level data elements in an XML file format to the HRSA/MCHB. Such staff may include developers, data quality specialists, administrators, or other individuals who are responsible for generating and submitting the monthly report.

To submit the screening tool data successfully, each grantee must collect data from women that they served during the reporting month and create and upload the Extensible Markup Language (XML) files containing client-level data to the HSMED Web application. The structure, sequence, values, and format of the data elements in the XML files must conform to the definitions specified in this document. Once the client-level data XML file is uploaded, HSMED validates the file for conformance to the data schema and business rules outlined in the Data Dictionary and XML Schema Implementation Guide.

XML Schema Files (2018) is a zip file that contains the HSMED Healthy Start client-level data XML schema and related files. You will need to “unzip” the file using these instruction for Windows/PC or Mac.

The HSMED changelog (2018) provides version control and a quick reference of changes made to the XML schema and/or implementation guides.

HSMED also provides a Data Dictionary and XML Schema Implementation Guide for each screening tool. In Addition, You can find the Date of Birth (DOB) Guidelines and Submission to HSMED here.

Demographic Implementation Guide (2018)

Pregnancy History Implementation Guide (2017)

Preconception Implementation Guide (2017)

Prenatal Implementation Guide (2017)

Postpartum Implementation Guide (2018)

Parenting Implementation Guide (2018)

Guidelines For Rescreening Questions (March 2017)

CSV Instructions and templates

To understand HSMED system data overwrite rules, for each of the HS Screening Tools, review the attached HSMED Data User Tip Sheet.  You should have a clear understanding of the screening tools upload rule as well as receive a few upload tips, to reduce upload redundancy into the HSMED system.  The sheet is also available on the HSMED websites at:

National Evaluation

On this page OER has provided the following materials relevant to the national evaluation.

HS Evaluation Plan

CDC IRB Approved Evaluation Protocol

CDC IRB Approved Participant Informed Consent -Vital Records Linkage. For the Spanish Version, Click Here.

CDC IRB Approved Participant Informed Consent -PRAMS. For the Spanish Version, Click Here.

Contact Script (please note the informed consent forms now include the IRB No., PI Version Date, and Protocol number)

Model Data Sharing Agreement

HRSA Data Use Statement

Information on this page is provided by the HRSA Office of Epidemiology and Research and DS Federal.