About Us

Mission

HealthConnect One is the national leader in advancing respectful, community-based, peer-to-peer support for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting.

Vision

Our vision is to see every baby, mother, and family thrive in a healthy community. We work to achieve this vision through an equity focused approach supporting the first 1000 days for birthing families.

History

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25th anniversary (founder Rachel Abramson speaking)

Since 1986, across more than 50 communities in 20 states, HealthConnect One has worked with maternal and child health organizations, social services providers, hospitals, birth workers, grassroots organizers and FQHCs to design peer-to- peer support programs which increase breastfeeding rates, strengthen parent-child bonding, expand support for mothers and families, reduce C-section rates and achieve better birth outcomes while generating local jobs and leveraging resources.

Our expertise is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally

Recognition includes being selected by WHO/UNICEF as a member of an Expert Panel developing international standards for breastfeeding training; serving on the Wisdom Council of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative as an Expert Panel Member for the United States; and consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work/Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

HealthConnect One staff are leaders in the field of maternal and child health. For example, staff members currently serve as:

A more detailed list is on individual staff members’ bio pages.  Staff have worked closely with Illinois Department of Public Health staff helped to publish the Illinois Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Curriculum, and for more than two decades collaborated with Cook County Health and Hospital Services Stroger Hospital on a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program.

We are also proud to have helped establish the Illinois Community Health Worker Association.

Who works with us

Our work leads to strong birth and breastfeeding outcomes in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Community Clinics
  • Federal, state and local government agencies
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Foundations
  • Grassroots organizations
  • Home Visiting Programs
  • Hospitals
  • Social Service Centers
  • State agencies
  • Tribal Organizations

You can also view our national map to see some examples of institutions that have engaged HealthConnect One.

Results

Since 1986, across more than 50 communities in 20 states, our efforts have resulted in healthier babies born with fewer C-sections, increased breastfeeding rates, and mothers and families receiving expanded support in the crucial first months of a child’s life.

Traditional power dynamics associated with learning are not present and/or openly discussed. There was an ability to be open and build trust and exchange–not just words; histories, hopes, frustrations, and, positive energy.

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HealthConnect One workshop participant

When we speak to mothers, they tell us they are more comfortable seeing community health workers than their ob-gyns. The reason is simple: community health workers are more accessible because they belong to the community in which they work; their experience mirrors that of the mothers they are supporting.

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Toni Hill and Tikvah Wadley
NE Mississippi Birthing Project and HealthConnect One, Chronicle of Philanthropy, 4/5/2019

I learned a lot about breastfeeding in a different way than I’m used to.

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Michelle Neumann
Participant, Breast-feeding Advocate Training

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Website improvements are on the way

Want to help? Answer our 2-Question Website Survey

HealthConnect One is a proud member of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, SisterSong, and the Chicago Region Breastfeeding Task Force.

Our staff bring years of experience to their roles as coaches, movement builders and advocates for perinatal health.

How can we help you?

Training? Consultation? Facilitation? Our work is based on the principles of popular education and experiential learning.