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St. Luke’s to Host Nurse-Family Partnership Event
August 15, 2017

News Media Invited

What: St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership event to educate local legislators about the program and encourage its continued funding to help women, children and families in our region.

When: Thursday, August 17th from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Bethlehem Public Library, Cohen Room (first floor), 11 West Church Street.

Each year 380,000 children are born to first-time mothers living in poverty. Many of these mothers are young, single, socially isolated and without a high school diploma. Their children face major barriers to leading healthy lives and escaping poverty because their mothers lack the necessary resources and support.

St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is the local arm of the national, nonprofit Nurse-Family Partnership that connects mothers living in poverty to their own personal nurse to transform the first thousand days of a child’s life. Nurses begin working with families early in pregnancy, and continue until the child is two. Nurses visit families in their homes providing assessments and education on health, development and parenting, setting life goals and sharing resources. 

Continued public support is critical. St. Luke’s NFP received $965,000 in state grant money in 2016-2017, accounting for roughly three-quarters of the program’s 1.3 million budget.

At the Bethlehem Public Library on Thursday,  St. Luke’s NFP will educate local legislators about the program and encourage its continued funding to positively impact the lives of women, children and families in our region.

Speakers will include St. Luke’s NFP Program Manager Tiffany Grabinski, St. Luke’s Director of Community Care Coordination Kelly Berk and St. Luke’s Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs Jane George, among others, as well as mothers whose lives and children have greatly benefited from St. Luke’s NFP.

Local and state legislators expected to attend include state Representatives Michael Schlossberg, Zachary Mako and Peter Schweyer; state Senator Mario Scavello; and staff from state Representative Ryan Mackenzie, state Senator Lisa Boscola and U.S. Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Charlie Dent. News media invited.

St. Luke’s NFP, a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke’s, began in 2001 in Bethlehem. By 2008, this home-centered program expanded services to include Easton and Allentown. Today, the St. Luke’s NFP site serves 250 families in Lehigh and Northampton counties, making it one of the largest NFP sites in the state of Pennsylvania.

“The St Luke’s Network is strongly committed to the goal of creating healthy communities which begins with improving the health and well-being of women, infants, children, and families,” said Grabinski.

Nurse-Family Partnership

The Nurse-Family Partnership is a voluntary, evidence-based home visitation program in which Registered Nurses with specialized training visit low-income, first-time mothers from early in pregnancy through the first two years of the child’s life to accomplish three goals:

  • Improve pregnancy outcomes
  • Improve child health and development
  • Improve families’ economic self-sufficiency

NFP is changing the lives of at-risk first time mothers and improving the future for their newborn babies, according to Grabinski. St. Luke’s NFP has enrolled more than 2,500 moms and successfully graduated more than 744 families from the program.

Nurse-Family Partnership blends compassion and science and is based on more than forty years of research and clinical trials by Dr. David Olds. The NFP program is implemented in 42 states and the US Virgin Islands, as well as a few replications internationally. Who can participate? First time low income mothers less than 28 weeks gestation are encouraged to participate in the program. NFP referrals come from a variety of community agencies. The largest percentage of referrals come from health care providers. Additional referrals come from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Pregnancy Testing Clinics, schools, and also current clients.

St. Luke’s outcomes:

  • 90% of our mothers initiated breastfeeding
  • 90% of babies born to mothers in our program were born at health weights
  • 100% of children in our NFP program at 24 months were up to date on immunizations
  • Of the mothers who entered the program without a high school diploma or GED, 78% had either received their GED or high school diploma or were enrolled to complete it at the time they completed the NFP program
  • 70% of our mothers 18 and older were working at the time of graduation of the NFP program
  • 86% of our moms graduating our program postponed having their second baby beyond 2 years 

Media Contact:

Sam Kennedy, Corporate Communications Director, 484-526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a non-profit, regional, fully integrated and nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites. The network’s service area includes Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 23 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital, the only one in the region. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first Medical School. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s has earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation as well as 50 Top Cardiovascular program in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers in comparison to major teaching hospitals and other health systems.