Baby Love

An Effective Practice


In 1988, the Baby Love program was founded in Rochester, New York, to address the high infant mortality and low birth weight rates that were endemic in multiple Rochester neighborhoods.

The Baby Love program promotes maternal and fetal health through home visits by outreach workers. First, an outreach worker visits the family to establish a relationship, assess strengths and potential risks for the mother and baby, and to help coordinate social services. A plan is created for individual and family services during pregnancy and the first six months of the baby's life.

After the initial visit, outreach staff conduct regular visits. Common services offered include health education, parental and natal coaching, and transportation assistance for medical and social services appointments. Social workers are also available to assist with more serious issues, such as substance abuse, mental health problems, and domestic violence.

Baby Love is funded by the United Way of Greater Rochester, The Monroe Plan for Medical Care, and MVP Healthcare, Inc.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the Baby Love program is to improve health outcomes for at-risk mothers and their infants in Rochester, New York, by assisting in identifying potential risks and coordinating pre and postnatal care.

Results / Accomplishments

The Baby Love program annually assists approximately 200 at-risk mothers and families. After one health plan partnered with Baby Love, their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission rates dropped 60% in two years, from 89.3/1,000 births in 2002 to 34.9/1,000 births in 2004. Furthermore, in 2005, the Baby Love program and the Monroe Plan for Medical Care began a pilot project to address the disparity of NICU admission rates between African American and Causasian babies born to teen mothers. Within one year the program saw a 50% decrease in the difference between NICU admission rates for Caucasian and African American babies born to teen mothers.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Mardy Sandler
Golisano Children's Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 650
Rochester, NY 14620
(585) 275-2851
Health / Maternal, Fetal & Infant Health
Health / Family Planning
Health / Access to Health Services
Golisano Children's Hospital and the Rochester Early Enhancement Project
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Rochester, NY
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens, Women, Racial/Ethnic Minorities

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