Division Contact

Public Health and WIC
Susan Lorenz, Health Administrator and Public Health Officer

Email

What is Healthy Beginnings+?

Healthy Beginnings+, also called Prenatal Care Coordination, is a BadgerCare+ benefit that helps pregnant women get the support and services they need to have a healthy baby. A public health nurse will help you during your pregnancy and for 2 months after your baby is born.

Prenatal Care Coordination services include:

  • Help getting the health care you need
  • Personal support
  • Information on good eating habits and health practices (health education and nutrition counseling)
  • Information and help finding needed services in your community
  • Information on pregnancy and care of a newborn
How do I know if this service is for me?

The public health nurse will determine your eligibility by asking about your:

  • BadgerCare+ eligibility
  • Current pregnancy
  • Health history
  • Relationships
  • Worries
If you are eligible, a public health nurse will help you get the services you need. There is no cost to you for this service. Healthy Beginnings+ does not replace your check ups with your doctor, but rather gives you more time and information to prepare for your baby.
Why is BadgerCare+ doing this?

Pregnancy is a time of change and every woman can use help with:

  • Planning for a healthy pregnancy, birth & beyond
  • Locating child care
  • Dealing with family and friends
  • Emotional support
  • Coping with alcohol or other drug abuse
  • Dealing with other problems that are bothering you
  • Getting ready for new baby

Questions that  Healthy Beginnings+ can help you with:

  • When should I go to the doctor?
  • How will I get to the doctor?
  • What will labor and delivery be like?
  • Should I breastfeed my baby?
  • How does this work if I am in a Medicaid HMO?
  • What other community services are available to me?
A public health nurse can help you during these times by listening to your concerns and answering your questions.
Where can I find a nurse who works with Healthy Beginnings+?

Contact one of the following to find a care coordinator near you:

  • If you live in Columbia County call 608-742-9227, and ask for Intake
  • Call the Maternal and Child Health Hotline at 1-800-722-2295 (Voice/TTY) 
  • Call Medicaid Member Services at 1-800-362-3002 or TTY 1-800-947-3529 

Providers may refer pregnant women for PNCC services using the Prenatal/Postpartum Nursing Referral Form.

Summary of Healthy Beginnings+

Research has shown that when high-risk pregnant women receive specialized and intensive education and non-medical support services throughout their pregnancy, they have improved birth outcomes (including decreased rates of low birth weight and infant mortality).

Healthy Beginnings+ includes a variety of case management services that outreach pregnant women, assess their medical and psychosocial risk factors, then plan and coordinate care that will help decrease risks, overcome barriers to receiving prenatal care, and increase their chances of having a healthy baby.

Examples of support services which might be included in Healthy Beginnings+ are:

  • Helping the women identify a prenatal care provider
  • Referring to resources such as housing, WIC, FoodShare, BadgerCare+, Wisconsin Works (W-2),  child care assistance, Food Pantry, etc.
  • Educating/counseling on topics such as changes during pregnancy, danger signs, healthy lifestyle choices, preparation for childbirth, infant care, and family planning options.
  • Assisting in locating treatment for tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse.
  • Sharing resources for a safe place to be in the event of domestic abuse.

Feel free to refer or inquire about Healthy Beginnings+ in Columbia County by calling 608-742-9227.