Hey, Healthy Starters!

It's officially spooky season, but there is nothing scary about what is coming up with Healthy Start! We have exciting updates to share with you, as well as our upcoming events.


The 2023 Dancing with the Martin Stars was a high-energy and successful fundraising event!! We celebrated the event's 12th anniversary and raised over $220,000 to support vital programs for healthy pregnancies and infants. The event was a community-driven success, showcasing both talent and dedication to a great cause. Thank you to all who supported!

Our 7th annual Madison's Miracle Remembrance Walk is happening this month, and there is still time to register! Healthy Start joined the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team in January, with the goal of preventing infant loss, as Madison's Miracles has set out to support families who suffer this tragedy. This event will take place on October 21. Continue reading for more information.

Healthy Start was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Orlando for the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalition’s Annual Meeting. It is always a pleasure to come back from these events with new ideas and inspiration!

Don't forget to take a look at our Strong Like A Mother group and the diaper schedule provided at the end of this email. Happy fall!




Sam Suffich and your friends at MC Healthy Start

Star Dancers of Dancing With The Martin Stars Raises Over $220,000!

Driving rhythms, fast-paced footwork, and sky-high enthusiasm enthralled the audience at the 2023 Dancing with the Martin Stars, the signature fundraising event of the Martin County Healthy Start Coalition.

Healthy Start, which offers support and education to pregnant women and infants, celebrated its twelfth anniversary of the popular event on September 23 at the Lyric Theatre in downtown Stuart.

The sellout event was a resounding success, raising more than $220,000 to support essential programs in Martin County that help ensure every baby is born healthy, every mother is supported, and every father is involved.

The format for the evening included a dynamic, local cast of nine Martin County “celebrities,” each paired with a professional dance instructor. These brave, novice dancers not only put their best foot forward to shine on the dance floor, but were also tasked with raising funds from friends, neighbors and business colleagues through sponsorships, ticket sales and contributions.

The goal was to win enough votes from a judges’ panel to claim bragging rights as the Dancing with the Martin Stars Champion 2023.

Dr. Brian Moriarty, owner and president of Loving Chiropractic of Stuart; Megan Acosta, former ballroom dancer and instructor turned realtor for Brokers Choice Realty; and Dmitriy Kuzmenko, owner and professional ballroom instructor at In Motion Ballroom served as Judges. Mike Gonzalez, a 2018 Star Alumni, emceed the event for the third year in a row.

Carol Briseno of Martin County Parks & Recreation and her dancing partner Jang Don walked away with top honors and the coveted trophy for highest combined scores in both dancing and fundraising.

In addition to Carol and Jang, these dancers also brought the audience to a pitch of enthusiasm: Noel Thomas, CEO of Zero Trafficking, paired with Cheri Shanti Garcia; Joan Goodrich, Executive Director of the Martin County Business Development Board, paired with Craig Galvin; Jacilyn Mikels, Director of Aesthetics at JeuneNu Aesthetic with Women’s Health Specialists, paired with Michael Chaves; Nikki Leserra, Creative Director at Sky is the Limit Events and Marketing, paired with Brian Spector; Tony George, Elder Law attorney, paired with Marianella Tobar; Monique Robbins of Pretty Little Cupcakes, paired with Yusell Garcia; Dr. Kurt Barnhill, Precision Chiropractic & Rehab, paired with Daisy Krakowiak-Wiebe; and Dr. Edward Savage, Cardiothoracic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, paired with Tanya Chaves.


There were several award winners in a variety of categories: Overall Champions Carol and Jang, who were also the Top Fundraising Team and Top Dancing Team; First Runner-Up Dance Team and First Runner-Up Fundraising Team Jacilyn & Michael; Second Runner-Up Fundraising Team Tony & Marianella.


“We’re so grateful for the entire community who support us each year,” Healthy Start CEO Samantha Suffich said. “From our local celebrities who danced their hearts out on stage and raised funds off stage to the audience that filled the Lyric to capacity, everyone brought their passion for both the event and the cause it supports.”

The evening’s sponsors included: Casco Companies, Inc., HOG Technologies, JeuneNu Aesthetic Beauty & Laser Center, Premier Air & Private Jets, Loving Chiropractic of Stuart, Inc, Ashley Capital, FPL- Florida Power & Light, Zen Den Infusion Lounge, The Gordana Uscumlic Foundation, Women’s Health Specialists, Owen Insurance Group, Madoli Marketing, Coastal Detox, and Sunshine Land Design.

First Runner-Up Dance Team: Jacilyn & Michael

Top Dancing Team: Carol & Jang

Second Runner-Up Fundraising Team: Tony & Marianella

First Runner-Up Fundraising Team: Jacilyn & Michael

Top Fundraising Team: Carol & Jang

Overall Champion Team: Carol & Jang

The Healthy Start Team Visits Orlando for the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalition’s Annual Meeting

A group of our Healthy Start team members headed to Orlando for the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalition’s Annual Meeting. We were able to collaborate with other Healthy Start Coalitions around the state, talk about challenges and triumphs, and share all the amazing work the Coalitions are doing around the state.

October Is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

Martin County Healthy Start's strives to ensure every baby born in Martin County is born healthy. We know that this is the dream for every family, but tragically, not every family experiences this. October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. We want to bring awareness to and recognize the 1 in 4 women that experience a pregnancy loss, the 1 in 160 pregnancies that end in still birth, and remember all the babies that are gone too soon. This month, we send light to all of those families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant.

For a full year now, Madison's Miracles has been a program of Healthy Start. Madison's Miracles offers grief support to families that have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant, as well as financial support for funeral expenses.

In one of the most devastating times in life, Madison's Miracles is there to offer support in navigating the unthinkable. If you have experienced a loss and are looking for support, please click here

Martin County Healthy Start Joins the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team

Martin County Healthy Start Coalition's origins are in preventing the unfortunate loss of infant life, and every day we continue to fight fetal and infant mortality.

In January, we joined our fellow Healthy Start Coalitions on the Treasure Coast to collaborate in a dynamic, community process called Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR). Our Case Review Team is examining the details leading to each incident of death monthly, and our Community Action Group gathers quarterly to execute an action plan to prevent future fetal or infant losses. An integral art of this plan is our newest program, Madison's Miracles which offers families of these tragedies bereavement support. 

If you feel lead to join us in preventing future fetal or infant losses within our community, please join us on Saturday, October 21st at Memorial Park at 7:30AM for Madison's Miracles remembrance walk and run in honoring babies gone too soon.

We also welcome you to have a seat at the table in our Community Action Group held at the Healthy Start Administrative Suite. The next meeting is Thursday, November 16th at 1PM at 735 S. Colorado Avenue, Suite #110. Stuart, FL 349943.

The 7th Annual Remembrance Walk & 5K Run Is Almost Here!

Our 7th Annual Remembrance Walk & 5K in recognition of Madison's Miracles is less than 2 weeks out! We are honored to recognize all babies gone too soon and look forward to an amazing race this year. Visit the link or scan the QR Code to register!

October Strong Like A Mother Group

Join us Saturday, September 30th at our ADMINISTRATIVE office (735 S. Colorado, Suite #110) for mom group! We are celebrating Halloween this month! Dress up those little pumpkins, and feel free to come dressed up too!

We will also come together to talk about resources available around the community, and begin to build a tribe to support one another! Invite your mama friends & partners are welcome & encouraged!

Lap-aged children are welcome! Please register here and share with a friend!

October Diaper Schedule

Horarios de pañales de octubre

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Martin County Healthy Start Coalition | mchealthystart.org
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