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Nurse Family Partnership Helps Put One Young Family on the Path to Success
“Today Marks Graduation of its First 20 families”
PHOENIX (June 16, 2012) – Arlene Medina discovered she was pregnant at age 15. She had barely been attending high school before discovering she was pregnant and the chances of her attending while pregnant were slim. Her mom was angry and when contacted by Maricopa County’s Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFP) told the nurse her family didn’t want any help.
Beth Nobles, nurse for NFP understood the anger and pain but was persistent with the family. She explained to Arlene’s mom that “every baby is to be celebrated” and “it’s my job to make that happen.” Beth also made the commitment to be around for the first 2 years of the baby’s life.
Make that happen she did. For more than 2 years, Beth has been working with Arlene and baby Zaydee. She helped Arlene learn to breastfeed little Zaydee and she did until she was 10 months old even while going to school full time. She listened and put into practice everything Nurse Beth told her and showed her. She has not missed a day of school since starting with NFP because she wants to be a role model for Zaydee. And today, Arlene’s mom is her biggest advocate, helping to care for Zaydee when Arlene is in school.
“Beth showed me all of the little things you need to do to be a successful mom,” said Arlene. “I am committed to being the best mom I can for Zaydee.”
“Arlene has been such a great example of what NFP can do for young moms,” said Beth Nobles, nurse for NFP. “She listened to every little thing I taught her and the result is a child that I believe is more developmentally advanced than many children. Arlene is now 17 and when I told her that our time was coming to an end, she drilled me for resources on how she can continue to be a better mom for Zaydee. This makes me confident that this family is on the right path for a happy, successful life.”
The South Phoenix Nurse-Family Partnership at Maricopa County Department of Public Health in conjunction with Southwest Human Development held their first graduation of 20 families today including Arlene and Zaydee. Nurse Family Partnership is funded by the First Things First South Phoenix Regional Partnership Council.
Nurse-Family Partnership is a voluntary prevention program that provides nurse home visitation services to low-income, first-time mothers. Nurses begin home visits early in the mother’s pregnancy and continue visitation until the child’s second birthday. Nurses provide support, education and counseling on health, behavioral and self-sufficiency issues.
In Maricopa County, 220 families are currently enrolled in the program. Nationally, mothers and children who have participated in the 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. All of that results in savings that are five times the cost of the program.
“For almost 30 years, other communities around the nation have been showing great results with the NFP program,” said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Public Health. “Finally, thanks to a grant from First Things First, we are able to bring this amazing program to Maricopa County and today we are sending our first group of parents and toddlers off with the foundation they need to be successful in life.”
When a young woman becomes pregnant before she's ready to take care of a child, the risk factors for the entire family escalate—often resulting in poverty, conflict, and despair. Nurse-Family Partnership pairs these first-time parents with a public health nurse who visits the mom from pregnancy until the baby turns two years old. This evidence-based model of partnering nurses and first-time moms has more than 30 years of research from randomized, controlled trials that prove it works.