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Celebrate for a Cause - Nurse Family Partnership

Celebrate for a Cause - St. Luke's Nurse Family Partnership

Community health program transforms the lives of first-time mothers

Bethlehem, PA (10/6/2010) - Recently, a celebration was held to benefit the Nurse-Family Partnership of the Visiting Nurses Association of St. Luke's. Apprecier! Celebrate for a Cause raised awareness of and funds for Nurse-Family Partnership, a local community health program that helps transform the lives of women who are pregnant with their first child.

Through on-going home visits from registered nurses throughout pregnancy until the child's second birthday, low-income, first-time moms receive the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy; provide responsible and competent care for their children; and become more economically self-sufficient. The nurse home visitors of the Nurse-Family Partnership form a trusting relationship with the moms, instilling confidence and empowering them to achieve a better life for their children and themselves.

Provide Services to Those Most in Need

Bonnie Coyle, MD, St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network, Director, Community Health, welcomed guests to the event and gave recognition to the event's lead sponsors, Express Times/Lehighvalleylive.com and John Eisenhard of Lehigh Valley Financial Group.

“The Community Health Department at St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network continues to strive to achieve its mission of partnering with the community to increase health awareness, improve the health status of the community and encourage appropriate access to health services,” shared Coyle. “The services provided through Nurse-Family Partnership shows our mission at work in our communities. We collaborate with health networks, schools, faith organizations and the community to provide services to those most in need. The benefits extend not only to the moms and babies who participate in the program, but to the community as a whole. The program participants are given the knowledge and tools for a more positive future, emphasized on changes in behavior and the impact is felt for generations.”

Liza Alvarado, a graduate of the NFP program shared her story. “My father died of cancer the year before I got pregnant. That was hard for my family,” she shared. “A year later when I got pregnant and told my mother, she was very disappointed in me.” She felt that everyone in her life was encouraging her to apply for welfare, food stamps and public housing. She knew that was not the route she wanted to take with her life. “My nurse, Ellie Fenner, was the one person who reassured me that I could move ahead in another way. It would be harder and it would take more work, but I was going to be able to provide for myself and my baby without public welfare. That's exactly what I did. June 28th 2004 is the day that I met the love of my life.” That is the day her son, Damon, was born.

Ms. Alvarado went on to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree from Cedar Crest College and a Master's Degree from Chestnut Hill College. “I attribute my academic and professional achievements to what I learned through the Nurse-Family Partnership program,“ she told the crowd of 250 people.

Goals of the Nurse-Family Partnership

The goals of the Nurse-Family Partnership are to:

  • Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their health care 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.

In recognition of the core mission of Nurse-Family Partnership, coupled with the success of the program's extraordinary outcomes, NFP partnered with Veuve Clicquot, the internationally renowned champagne empire built by Madame Clicquot, a woman overcoming overcoming adversity. Following the remarks, Christopher Cree, one of 29 wine masters in the United States, shared the history of Veuve Clicquot and discussed the proper techniques for popping and pouring champagne.
Guests were greeted with a red carpet experience and mingled to the soothing sounds of classical duo, Nora Suggs and John Arnold, followed by the music of KUMALO Jazz Band.