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GCHD Announces Nurse-Family Partnership Program

courtesy Genesee County Health Dept.

On Monday, the Genesee County Health Department announced the implementation of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program available county wide. NFP is a national, evidence based, maternal and child home visiting program that provides free, confidential, nurse home visitation services to expecting first-time mothers and their families. Eligibility requirements include first time mothers prior to their 28th week of pregnancy, who reside in Genesee County and are at or below 185% of poverty. This project was made possible with funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health and Genesee County. A generous grant in the amount of $50 thousand dollars was awarded through the Clara Elizabeth Maternal Health Fund, Healthy Start for Children Fund and the Frances S. Willson Health Care Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Additionally, the support of many local organizations through the Great Start Collaborative has assisted in bringing NFP to Genesee County.

NFP serves families in 41 states with a mission to improve pregnancy outcomes, improve child health and development and improve self-sufficiency of families by helping parents develop a vision for their future, plan future pregnancies, continue their education and find work. The program pairs specially trained Public Health Nurses with expecting first-time mothers. Home visits begin early in the mother’s pregnancy and continue until the child’s second birthday. Nurses provide support, education and counseling on health, behavior, self sufficiency and parenting issues. They also help the first-time moms improve pregnancy outcomes by assisting women to find a medical home and engage in prenatal health care and good preventive health practices. Through this program, first-time moms are provided with skills, support and knowledge around child growth and development, child home safety, successful parenting, assistance in seeking educational opportunities, developing job skills, building a strong network of support and obtaining referrals for other support services available in the community.

Between 2000 and 2011, more than 700 babies in Genesee County died before their
first birthday. Research has shown mothers and children who have participated in the NFP
program have consistently demonstrated significantly improved prenatal health, fewer
subsequent pregnancies, increased maternal employment, improved child school readiness,
reduced involvement in crime, and less child abuse, neglect and injuries.
The Genesee County NFP program is currently accepting referrals. Healthcare
providers, social service providers, schools, self-referrals and anyone who believes an
expecting first- time mother could benefit from this nurse home visiting program can make a
referral. “This program changes the life trajectories for both mother and child, benefiting
multiple generations,” says Mark Valacak, MPH, Health Officer, Genesee County Health
Department.

If you are interested in participating in NFP or would like to refer a first-time mother, or
have questions about the program, please contact the NFP program coordinator Sherry Taylor, BSN, RN at (810) 257-3833.

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