Washington, D.C.– The National Healthy Start Association has announced that Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva will receive its 2011 Congressional Leadership Award in a March 8 ceremony in Washington. The Healthy Start program in Nogales nominated Grijalva for the award because of his ongoing support for community-based programs that serve low income pregnant women and his annual support for the federal Healthy Start program.
The Department of Health and Human Services began the Healthy Start program in 1991 to assist communities with high incidences of infant mortality. Program services in the more than 100 currently supported local communities include educational outreach, home visitation, case management, perinatal depression screening, interconceptional care and other effective approaches to ensure the birth of a healthy newborn child.
Grijalva supported the Healthy Start Reauthorization Act, which became law in October 2008, and was the first co-signer after then-Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt of a March 2010 letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting full funding of $120 million for the program in fiscal year 2011.
“I’m deeply touched by this honor, which recognizes only what I believe is my duty to Southern Arizona,” Grijalva said. “Reducing infant mortality is the furthest thing from a partisan issue, and I’ve been proud to support Healthy Start’s mission since coming to Congress. I look forward to receiving this award in person and will continue to do all I can to raise awareness of Healthy Start’s successful and necessary work.”
The other recipients this year are Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.). The award ceremony will be held March 8 in Room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Building at 6 p.m. EST.
For more information, call the Nogales Healthy Start program at (520) 375-6050 or the National Healthy Start Association at (202) 296-2195.