Super Hero Saturday – Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County

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The mission of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB) is to improve birth outcomes and promote healthy families by providing access to care, education and support to those facing the physical, emotional, economic and social challenges of pregnancy and infant care.

In 1985, 900 pregnant women in Palm Beach County with little or no prenatal care entered local hospitals to deliver their babies, precipitating an increase in the county’s low birth weight deliveries, premature births, infant mortality, medical complications and children with disabilities. As a result, HMHB was established in 1986 and continues to improve birth outcomes and promote healthy families in our community.  

Each year, an average of 15,000 babies are born in Palm Beach County. In 2019-20, HMHB had touch points with more than 70% of the women who delivered them. With 65 employees, countywide partnerships, and a strong Board of Directors, we engage and support women throughout their pregnancies to ensure the delivery of healthy babies.  Through eight core agency programs, including prenatal risk screening and care coordination, CenteringPregnancy®, maternal mental health peer support groups, teen mom mentoring, prenatal and parenting health education, and Basics4Babies – an emergency needs pantry for infants, our organization has a solid reputation in the community for being a leader in maternal child health and prenatal care support. With nearly 30% of women in our community receiving little, late or no prenatal care, our work focuses on every step necessary to ensure all pregnant women in Palm Beach County deliver a healthy baby.

Get to know two of the super heroes that make this organization run!

          
Michelle Gonzalez – Chief Executive Officer

Where do you live in Palm Beach County?

Lake Worth

How long have you lived here?

My whole life! Fourth generation Palm Beach County native!

What do you love about living in Palm Beach County?

I love that Palm Beach County has so much to offer in the ways of cultural experiences and family friendly activities. There is always so much to do and see here!

Do you have children (or fur children)?

If so, what are their names and ages? I am the proud mother of three children: Max (14), Mia (13) and Mason (10). We can’t forget Dunkin’ (7) – aka The Dunk Master J

What is your job description? Tell us a little bit about your part of HMHB and what is your favorite part of the mission.

I have been the CEO of HMHB for the last five years. I am responsible for ensuring that the strategic goals of our organization – in programming, fundraising, operations and structure – are not only supportive of our mission, but are sustainable in every way. There are so many things I love about it, the team I have the honor of working with, the clients, our donors, board and partners, the development of programs and the excitement of fundraising. It’s fast paced and constantly evolving to respond to the needs of the women we serve. My favorite part…the stories of those we have supported and their incredible strength as mothers.

What is your favorite activity to do in Palm Beach?

My husband and I started 9 Round Lake Worth-Wellington this year and we love it! It’s a serious workout in only thirty minutes – the sweat just pours out of you!

Mary Carhart – Director of Advancement 

Where do you live in Palm Beach County?

Jupiter Farms

How long have you lived here?

I had a great childhood in Delray Beach, left for a bit to attend the University of Florida (Go Gators!), then returned to live in northern PBC.

I have lived in Jupiter Farms for nine glorious years!

What do you love about living in Palm Beach County?

We truly have the best of everything in Palm Beach County! There is so much truth to the statement “we live where you vacation!”

I love that we can start our day on a softball field, then go out on the boat, and finish up by seeing live music or a show at the Kravis Center.

Do you have children (or fur children)? If so, what are their names and ages?

I have one daughter named Olivia.  She is nine going on 20.

What is your job description? Tell us a little bit about your part of HMHB and what is your favorite part of the mission.

My role with HMHB for the last five years has been as Director of Advancement – which includes all aspects of fundraising and events, as well as volunteer engagement grant writing and marketing.

Essentially, I get to work alongside amazing staff and committee members who help us to further our reach and capacity in PBC.

My favorite part of HMHB’s mission?  The people! Seeing empowered families flourish, watching mamas get the support they need, and meeting those healthy babies make it all worthwhile!  At the same time, the passion and dedication of  our team is truly a force of nature. I love watching them in action.

What is your favorite activity to do in Palm Beach?

An outdoor concert (with a tailgate first!) or a night at a show at the Kravis Center with my family are my absolute favorite things to do.

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Meg is the proud founder of Palm Beach Mom Collective. Meg is bringing her past career experience in event planning, corporate sponsorships, public relations and advertising to the helm of PBMC! She’s been married to her best friend and husband, Chris, for over 11 years and enjoys spending time with their sons, Jameson (born October 2011) and Patrick (born August 2014) and daughter, Amelia (born January 2018). When not devoting her time to Palm Beach Mom Collective and her family, she enjoys running, going to the beach and enjoying great meals with a fabulous glass of wine!

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