ACCESS Westside Healthy Start

In 2017, the infant mortality rate of babies born in Chicago West side communities of North Lawndale, Austin, East and West Garfield Park was almost two times higher on the West side at 11.25% than in Chicago as a whole at 6.6%.


Babies born in Chicago’s West side communities of North Lawndale, Austin, Humboldt Park, East and West Garfield Park deserve a healthy start. That’s why ACCESS is here to help support families through every step of pregnancy and beyond.


Through the Westside Healthy Start program at ACCESS, soon-to-be moms, and parenting families, can receive preconception, prenatal, and postpartum services to improve the health outcomes of the mother and baby. With the support of a dedicated care team, we can partner with community members to reduce the infant mortality rate and empower our families to create stronger, healthier communities.  


Our goal: Reduce the rates of infant mortality and low birth weight to create stronger, healthier communities


Case Management:

Case managers assist program participants with the ABCs of health care and provide the building blocks for a healthier beginning by:

  • Engaging families to participate in prenatal care
  • Encourage program participants to bring infants in for well-baby and immunization care.
  • Complete child developmental screenings up to the age of 18 months
  • Provide ongoing health education and planning on topics such as: birth control/family planning, child care, WIC, medical insurance etc.
  • Screening and referring for behavioral health, substance use, and domestic violence.


Breastfeeding Services

Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infant​​s the perfect nutrition they need for healthy development and it contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses. Breast milk also helps prevent childhood obesity, asthma and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Moms who breastfeed experience quicker weight loss after birth and have fewer negative postpartum side effects. ACCESS is proud to provide the following services for pregnant and postpartum moms:

  • Breastfeeding education
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Follow-up breastfeeding services 
  • Certified Lactation Counselors Services and support are also available for immediate family members.


Health Education:

Through a dedicated community outreach team, ACCESS is able to offer health education or “House Parties” in the community by providing information in the home on key health issues affecting women:

  • Immunizations – The shots you need to keep you healthy
  • Money Management
  • Nutrition Awareness- Eat this not that!
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices
  • Family Planning
  • Healthy Pregnancy
  • Self-Image
  • Stress – How to Beat Stress and Stay Calm


Fatherhood Services:

  • Referral to community resources (i.e. jobs, vocational training, etc.)
  • Learn about different ways to successfully manage your health and wellness.
  • Obtain resources on healthy ways to care for yourself and your family.
  • Talk about the challenges and successes of becoming a father.
  • Participate in group activities with other fathers and men.


Community Action Network (CAN):

  • Partner with program participants and community member to develop and implement a plan of action to address the social determinants of health.
  • Provide collaborative enrichment opportunities to WHS program participants and community members to become advocates of change.
  • Bring attention and awareness to health equity issues facing the community we serve.


To learn more about ACCESS Westside Healthy Start and your eligibility, call 312.733.0065 today.


ACCESS’ Westside Healthy Start Partners

Lawndale Christian Health Center