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Memorial Hospital Welcomes Nurse-Family Partnership

Desiree Rockwell, NFP Administrator

Nurse-Family Partnership is a national evidence-based, community health program that works with first time mothers to help them be successful. Each new mother enrolled in the program is partnered with a registered nurse early in the motherís pregnancy; she receives ongoing nurse home visits until her child turns two years old.

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is built upon the work of Dr. David Olds and has been through randomized, controlled trials for more than 30 years which all prove that this home visitation program works at improving the health and well-being of families.

The three specific goals of Nurse-Family Partnership include:
  • Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their healthcare providers, improving their diets, and reducing their use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances.
  • Improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care
  • Improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for their own future, plan future pregnancies, continue their education and find work.

So how did Nurse-Family Partnership come about in Bradford County? In 2006, at a Communities That Care meeting, under the umbrella of Partners in Family & Community Development (PFCD), a group of agency members discussed the idea of bringing this program here to Bradford County.

Communities That Care strives to promote positive youth development in the county and they felt that Nurse-Family Partnership would be a great program that could help break the generational cycle of poverty. PFCD, under the guidance of Desiree Rockwell, then Director researched the program and its potential. Ms. Rockwell learned two things, Bradford County was slated as an at-risk county thus eligible for State funding and that Wyoming County Human Service was already implementing Nurse Family Partnership under Healthy Families of Wyoming County.

Ms. Rockwell contacted her counterpart in Wyoming County, Terri McClosky and together they developed a plan. Healthy Families of Wyoming County would help get NFP started in Bradford County, by applying for the expansion grant, hiring and supervising the nurses.

Ms. Rockwell helped them write and submit the grant which allowed them to hire 2 full-time and 1 part-time Nurse Home Visitors. The plan was that Wyoming County would help get NFP established while PFCD found a suitable home for the program here in Bradford County within the next four years of the grant cycle.

During those years, PFCD would give the program in-kind office space and Bradford-Sullivan Drug and Alcohol Programs would help support with a match. As the end of the 4-year grant cycle was coming to a close, PFCD approached Memorial Hospital.

Administration felt that this program would make a great fit with their community outreach programs so plans began for Memorial Hospital to become an Implementing Agency for the National evidence-based Nurse-Family Partnership program.

After several months and mounds of paperwork, Nurse-Family Partnership is finally at home at Memorial Hospital. The program transferred from Wyoming County Human Services bringing with it three Nurse Home Visitors, all of their expertise, supplies, equipment and clients.

In addition, as plans were underway for this transfer, Federal funding became available and Memorial Hospital applied and was successful. They have received additional funds to hire a part-time Administrator, a full-time Nurse Home Visitor / Supervisor and a part-time Nurse Home Visitor.

Memorial Hospital, Inc. was pleased to be able to hire Desiree Rockwell for the position of NFP Administrator, which she will oversee NFP 50% of the time and with the remaining time she will research and apply for grants on behalf of Memorial Hospital.

In addition, the hospital has already hired, Claudia Piechocki to fill the part-time Nurse Home Visitor position. To date, they are still seeking a licensed RN with their BSN to fill the Supervisor position.

Desiree Rockwell stated "It was a difficult decision to leave as Executive Director of PFCD, but Iím very passionate about Nurse-Family Partnership and it was an opportunity that I could not pass up."

"Nurse-Family Partnership is such a valuable program that supports first time mothers and helps them succeed, it just fits our mission, we are so happy to give the program a local home," stated Carol Sager, Vice President of Resource Development at Memorial Hospital.

"It is all about helping people in our community which has been our philosophy since our inception" agreed Gary Baker, Memorial Hospital CEO.

To date, Nurse-Family Partnership has served just over 100 first-time mothers in Bradford County.

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Press Release
January 2, 2013
Contact: Jeff Russell 268-2444