Healthy Starts Alignment Team


Only 40% of teen mothers graduate from high school*

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, teenage mothers are more likely to give birth to babies with low birth weights than other women. Low birth weights can lead to a number of ensuing health problems in babies and in children. Due to this and other risks that teens can face during pregnancy, it is very important that they receive the proper prenatal care. Many teens delay or do not seek prenatal care because of the fear of telling their parents and lack of financial resources to do so. Besides the low rates of teens seeking prenatal care, babies born to teen mothers have a higher chance at dropping out of high school and tend to show lower performance scores upon entering kindergarten. 

*The National Conference of State Legislators:


The Healthy Starts A-Team created a resource guide in 2009 with a list of resources available to pregnant and parenting teens in the Nashville community. The A-Team updated this resource guide in 2015 persons who work primarily with the Pearl Cohn Cluster area population to use as a reference to help them find specific resources within that community. Areas in north Nashville, particularly Council Districts 2 and 21, have historically had and continue to have the highest percentages of low birth weight infants born in Nashville; 2013 data indicated 14% and 13.9%, respectively, of all babies born in these districts (37208, 37207 zip code areas) are born with a low birth weight and are subsequently at greater risk of death before the age of one.  The Pearl Cohn School cluster was selected as the pilot intervention cluster due to the long-standing and persistent burden of birth outcome disparities in Davidson County.

An updated list of available resources for pregnant and parenting teens, as well as additional resources, will be supplied to counselors and others who work with these individuals. They will be provided with information on career services, educational planning, and family counseling. The A-Team has also created a mobile application version of the resource guide to make available to pregnant and parenting teens and other youth serving organizations and individuals for even more convenient access.

Tactic 1

Update the paper-based resource guide, originated in 2009, with new and updated resources in the Nashville community.

Tactic 2

Develop a mobile-friendly, virtual application version of the updated resource guide.

The resource guide will be distributed electronically; the A-Team is also working on plans for sharing the guide with partners through community meetings/existing networks (such as the Family Resource Center network). 


The community meeting for this ITP was held on Friday, March 13th at Hadley Park Community Center, which is located in the Pearl Cohn cluster area, which is the focus area for the A-Team’s efforts. A total of 24 people RSVP’d to attend the community meeting; as a result, the A-Team received 13 responses to the ITP. All of the ITP responses were accepted by the A-Team and listed (or updated) in the new version of the resource guide. The final list of organizations were listed or updated in the resource guide:

Academies at Old Cockrill/Opry Mills/Hickory Hollow

Adolescent Healthy Futures Program

Centering Pregnancy® at Meharry

Community Food Advocates

Exchange Club Family Center

Healthy Beginnings

Healthy Start of Nashville

Hope Clinic for Women

HUGS Program


Metro Public Health Department (MPHD)

MPHD Fetal Infant Mortality Review

Mid Cumberland Child Care Resource and Referral

Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Music City Birthing Project

Neighborhood Health Prenatal Care

Nurses for Newborns of Tennessee

Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee

Sexual Assault Center

Shade Tree Early Pregnancy Program

Tennessee Voices for Children

University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service

WIC Program



 Improve High School Graduation Rates

 Children's Health and Wellness


(to be measured at the end of the 15-16 school year)

  • Increase the percentage of pregnant teens in the Pearl Cohn cluster area seeking prenatal care within the first trimester by 10%


(to be measured in spring 2016)

  • Increase the number of resources available in the resource guide by 25%
  • Increase the number of professionals accessing the guide by 10%
  • Increasing the number of providers accessing the guide by 10%


According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 

Educational achievement affects the lifetime income of teen mothers: two-thirds of families started by teens are poor, and nearly one in four will depend on welfare within three years of a child’s birth. Many children will not escape this cycle of poverty. Only about two-thirds of children born to teen mothers earn a high school diploma, compared to 81 percent of their peers with older parents. (

The long-term impact of supporting teen parents and helping them stay in school and graduate will contribute to breaking this cycle of poverty for Nashville’s families. 

The convergence of caring adults and community organizations who are aware of the challenges young parents face and who are attentive and committed to supporting them before, during and after pregnancy…this represents the most rewarding opportunities to be of service to the Nashville community.

-D’Yuanna Allen-Robb, MPH, Chair

The data that is collected from the website from the first year of implementation will help the A-Team determine how the resource guide will progress and be implemented at scale. The A-Team would like to be able to gather the necessary resources to purchase an actual mobile application that can be downloaded directly from application stores, available for free on smart phones.


D'Yuanna Allen-Robb, MPH, Chair, Metro Public Health Department

Cecelia Franklin, Vice Chair, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Amy Martin, Neighborhood Health

GiGi Rose, Vanderbilt University

Heather Snell, Metro Public Health Department

Jalyssa Lopez, Metro Public Health Department

Jennifer Vaida, Prevent Child Abuse TN

Jerica Washington, Neighborhood Health

Katherine Snyder, Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee

Kathy Buggs, Office of Congressman Jim Cooper

Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD, MPH, Tennessee State University

Monae Fletcher, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Sandra Bush, University of Tennessee Extension


Hadley Park Community Center

Music City Healthy Start

Nurses for Newborns

Tennessee Early Intervention System

UT Extension

Ross Center

Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee

Healthy Families Tennessee

United Neighborhood Health Services

Tennessee Parent Helpline

Community Action Partnership


For more information, contact Jaleesa Johnson, Alignment Team Coordinator.