In a healthy community, every baby blossoms!

What is Baby Booster?

Baby Booster is a collective impact initiative that aims to improve the health of babies and families with young children. The Baby Booster Leadership Team has proposed the following measurable outcomes:

  • Reduce the percentage of low-birthweight babies in the 97266 zip code by 50% in ten years; reduce annually racial disparities in low-birthweight, infant mortality and teen pregnancy.
  • Create a support community of 100 families.
  • Provide “First Thousand Days” resources – including healthy parenting workshops – to pregnant women and families with young children.
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing and design it to meet the needs of families with young children.
  • Organize parents to revitalize outer southeast without displacing low-income families and communities of color.

Who’s involved with Baby Booster?

ROSE Community Development, a community-based organization that serves outer southeast neighborhoods, is the lead agency of Baby Booster. Partners include the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, the Children’s Institute, Earl Boyles SUN School, Metropolitan Family Services, Multnomah County Health Department, NAYA Native American Family Center, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland State University, Zenger Farm and, most importantly, neighborhood parents. Funders include the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund/Northwest Health Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and the United Way.

While the mother is the environment of the developing fetus, the community is the environment of the mother.Lawrence Wallack, “Going Upstream for the Health of the Next Generation”

Why are we doing this?

Emerging research in epigenetics demonstrates that the most important stage of human development occurs in the “first thousand days” from conception to age two. Improving nutrition and reducing toxic stress during this period is crucial. ROSE and the Baby Booster partners believe that by working together and concentrating our efforts in one neighborhood we can have a significant impact for families facing particularly tough challenges.

Where will Baby Booster operate?

The initiative is focused on the 97266 zip code, an area that includes Lents Neighborhood and the Jade District. Multnomah County data shows that this area suffers from high incidence of low-birthweight, infant mortality and teen pregnancy.

For more information, contact Helena Vaughan at