TACOMA, Wash.—First-time, low-income mothers in Pierce County have a resource to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies. Through the Nurse-Family Partnership program, they receive the support, information, and services they need for free. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department celebrates 10 years since implementing the program that has transformed lives in the community.
To mark this milestone, the Nurse-Family Partnership will have a public event July 20, 1-3 p.m., at the STAR Center, 3873 S. 66th St. in Tacoma. The celebration will be a time for program nurses and families they helped over the years to share their experiences. Nearly 300 families have graduated from the program since it began at the Health Department.
“We see the lives of young women and their families transformed with the help of this dedicated, specially trained team of nurses,” said Susan Pfeifer, Nurse-Family Partnership program manager. “Through this nurse-family relationship, parents are better equipped to build healthy and successful lives for themselves and their child,” Pfeifer said.
Empowering positive change
The Nurse-Family Partnership is a free, evidence-based program for young, first-time mothers with low income. Families receive direct services during home visits. The goal is to improve:
- Pregnancy outcomes.
- Child health and development.
- Economic self-sufficiency of the family.
Through regular visits, the nurses, the mothers, and their babies form a bond. The visits start before the mother’s seventh month of pregnancy and continue until the child’s second birthday. Nurses get to know the women and the unique circumstances of their pregnancies. They offer support the mothers—many of whom can be socially isolated and lack access to accurate health and parenting information—and their babies need but would not get otherwise. Based on scientific evidence from the program, a child’s early development years are crucial for long-term success.
Beyond health services, mothers receive life skills and help to further their education, find employment, and other pursuits. The long-term goal is to give parents the skills to raise healthy children who then become great parents themselves.
Nationally, Nurse-Family Partnership has been in existence for about 40 years. Learn more about the program and its eligibility requirements at www.tpchd.org/nursefamilypartnership. To see a short YouTube video of a nurse and her client share their experiences go to youtu.be/oWheOAGidUI.
About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.