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Welcome to Great Start Collaborative Saginaw County

There are over 12,200 children under the age of 5 living in Saginaw County. Brain research has shown us that by age 4, 85% of a child's brain is formed.  Those first few years of life are pivotal in shaping a child's future!

The Saginaw Great Start Collaborative is a partnership of parents, community agencies, business leaders, educators, health care providers, faith and philanthropic leaders - all working together and committed to establishing and maintaining a comprehensive early childhood system that addresses all factors that have an impact on a child's readiness for school and life. A priority this year is to reduce infant mortality in our community.

The Annual Meeting PowerPoint details our accomplishments for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  Our local collaborative is part of a larger state-wide Great Start system.

All children deserve a healthy foundation in life! To learn more or get involved, please contact Julie Kozan at 989-399-7452 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Healthy Families America

Healthy Families America provides community-based home visitation services to expecting mom’s, families with babies under 2 weeks old, and families living in Merrill, Brant, Oakley and the City of Saginaw.  HFA is focused on promoting child health and development and positive parent-child interaction.  It is based on a set of critical program elements that are defined by more than 20 years of research and represent the field's most current knowledge on what it takes to implement a successful home visiting program.

Healthy Families America works with new and expectant parents through in their homes, building on strengths to help them become the best parents possible. Home visitors work with families to develop the skills need to create and maintain a strong and nurturing bond with their children.

This program has 3 goals: to promote positive parenting, to encourage child health and development and to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Mathematical Policy Research indicates that the HFA program

  • Reduces child abuse and neglect
  • Promotes positive parent practices
  • Improves family health
  • Enhances school readiness
  • Increases self-sufficiency and
  • Helps ensure healthy child development

Working with parents before a child enters their lives offers a great opportunity for increasing their confidence and lowering the stress that often accompanies the birth of a child.  It also parents will have the opportunity to establish positive parenting practices before negative patterns emerge.  Additionally, the most critical brain development occurs during the 3 yrs of life, providing a significant window of opportunity for parents to provide appropriate stimulation to encourage such development.  Finally, most physical abuse and neglect occurs among children under the age of two and 44% of fatalities due to child maltreatment occur before the first birthday.

To find out more, contact Angela at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 989-751-5224.

Preterm Birth Prevention Resource Collection

7,600 newborns die daily

(1). That’s more than 1 million deaths per year
(2). Read and share the collected resources below to help improve survival rates nationally and beyond.

Preterm Birth Guide from the CDC

The Guide to a Fit and Healthy Pregnancy

The Guide to Swimming and Healthy Pregnancy

The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign

Guide to Safe Air Travel While Pregnant

NLM's News and Research on Preterm Birth

The Diabetes Guide

Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy
1) http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30053111
2) http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61698-6/abstract