BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are over 100 Healthy Start programs across the country.

The program focuses on keeping newborns and their moms healthy, and every year 20,000 people from Baltimore count on them.

The Merck for Mothers program is giving Baltimore Healthy Start nearly $1 million.

Maxine Reed Vance is a registered nurse who will oversee the money. Her task is to generate solid local data on what is making infants and their mom’s sick and what they can do to change.

Vance said it all starts with getting moms to take care of themselves after the baby is born.

“You don’t have a healthy baby unless you have a healthy mom, and you don’t have a healthy mom who is overly worried about her baby,” Vance said.

Tuesday, Mayor Jack Young praised Healthy Start and Merck for Mothers for their work, three years of work that will include half a dozen other health providers in the city.

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