Nurse-family partnership program helps families thrive


This content is provided by Northwest Colorado Health

Being a first-time mom is a lot to deal with. Having a personal nurse to help answer questions, give advice, and make healthy choices is proven to help young mothers become relaxed and confident parents.

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a free program, offered by Northwest Colorado Health, that helps women who are pregnant with their first child who qualify financially become the best mothers possible. Every pregnant woman connects with her own personal nurse who works alongside her throughout her pregnancy until her child’s second birthday to help her reach her goals and give her child a healthier start.

According to Natalie Brooks, BSN, RN, CLC, – Nurse Home Visitor with Northwest Colorado Health’s NFP program, the best part of being a nurse with NFP is the long-term interaction with moms and the ability to build a relationship with them. customers over two years together.

“The transition to parenthood is such a transformative time, and I feel fortunate to be witnessing this journey with clients,” said Brooks. “Often in health care we only see people for a snapshot in time; with NFP, we see our clients regularly and deepen our understanding of their values ​​and aspirations.

As a nursing home visiting program, COVID-19 has forced NFP nurses to change quickly so they can continue to virtually connect with families throughout the pandemic.

“Having a way to connect with my clients was an immediate challenge, especially in a rural area where phone and Internet access weren’t necessarily readily or consistently available to these moms,” Brooks said. “The pandemic has amplified the social disparities and infrastructure inequalities that we have seen occurring across the country. Access to care was no exception and we had to adapt quickly to bridge the gap in order to use telehealth.

“For the day-to-day life of nurses, we have had to adapt to learn to navigate new technologies and learn strategies to get the most out of video and telehealth. The challenges of the pandemic were greater than us, and overcoming them took a lot of generosity and grace at all levels. Our customers have been patient, our organization has been supportive, and we have received generous financial support to help fill the technology gaps.

After more than a year of virtual support for local expectant mothers, Northwest Colorado Health is celebrating the return of in-person visits for nurses and Nurse-Family Partnership program participants.

There are currently 36 families participating in the nurse-family partnership at Northwest Colorado Health in Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Jackson counties. Each expert-trained NFP nurse guides a pregnant woman to improve her prenatal care – helping the new mom have a healthy pregnancy, improve childbirth outcomes, and improve the health and development of her child. The nurse also helps the new mom to become economically independent, encouraging her to continue her education and pursue her career goals. By strengthening families, the Nurse-Family Partnership triggers multigenerational change and helps break cycles of poverty.

“The nurse-family partnership makes a lasting difference in the lives of children and families. This saves money and communities are healthier and stronger for many generations, ”said Susan Madigan, RN, BSN, CLC, – NFP supervisor with Northwest Colorado Health.

Over 40 years of evidence shows nurse-family partnership improves birth outcomes, child development and school readiness, reduces child abuse, neglect and juvenile crime, among other outcomes .

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