About Us


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


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.


about health connect one - celebration - speaker with cocktail highboys
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.

Under construction sign on laptop Photo by Fernando Arcos from Pexels

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.

Talking with Tikvah – Doula tips during COVID-19

  Interest from pregnant women in having home births have increased drastically since COVID-19 began. Despite this interest, many women are still going to hospitals to give birth. Doulas and the expectant moms they are supporting are facing new challenges in the birthing process. During this difficult time, doulas are working hard to take care

Introducing Our New Birth Equity Action Network

Dear friend, Pregnant women are facing isolation at a time when family and community support is so important. Birthing families need more support than ever, particularly Black and Indigenous women who have been experiencing some of the most adverse birth outcomes in the world. Building on the success of the Birth Equity Leadership Academy (BELA)

Meet Khadija Gurnah, HC One’s New Policy and Advocacy Director

HealthConnect One is excited to announce that Khadija Gurnah has joined our team as the Policy and Advocacy Director. Khadija brings 15-years of experience in policy advocacy and organizing with a wide range of partners, including with the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Department of Health and Human Services on outreach on

Meet Our New Intern: Olivia Dockery

Hello, I’m Olivia, the new HealthConnect One Communications Intern. I am a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) School of Public Health. Much of my passion and studies are centered around reproductive justice.  Reproductive justice is a holistic framework that supports moms and families to lead and live healthy reproductive lives. The

Where’s HealthConnect One this winter and spring?

  Our team of maternal and child health experts are on the move at trainings and conferences across the country. Here are a few events where our HC One team will be at. Please come say “hello” or let us know if you will be there too! January Tikvah Wadley, Program Specialist Lead for HC

New! 2019 Annual Report Now Available

HealthConnect One’s 2019 Annual Report is now available. You can download a copy here or request a hard copy at dpando@healthconnectone.org.

Who’s Behind that Tweet? Introducing Diana

Interview with Diana Pando, HC One’s new Communications Coordinator Can you tell us what attracted you to HealthConnect One? My journey into motherhood got off to a rough start. After a near death experience during the birth of my daughter, I struggled with my maternal health. I decided to take a career pause and care

Creativity, Patience and Community: My Semester as a Communications Intern at HealthConnect One

by Yadira Herrera Interning at HealthConnect One was a unique, fulfilling and interesting experience. As it was my first interning experience, I didn’t know what to fully expect. In the movies, interns are expected to do the dirty work, get coffee and are not respected. Even though I knew that wasn’t going to be my