St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) has been awarded state funding to expand services for families throughout Lehigh and Northampton counties.
This funding comes from the 2019-20 Pennsylvania State Budget, which includes a $5 million increase in the Community-Based Family Center line item. Delivered through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, the increase has allowed the state to increase access to evidence-based home visiting services to an additional 800 families across the Commonwealth.
“St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership is fortunate to be one of the recipients of these expansion funds,” says Tiffany Grabinski, MSN, BSN, RN, Program Manager/Nurse-Family Partnership. “In recent years, we have seen the need for our services increasing in the Lehigh Valley. The expansion has allowed us to hire an additional nurse home visitor and increase our budgeted capacity from 250 to 275 families.”
The higher demand stretched the capabilities of the NFP. For example, during the 2018-19 fiscal year, the NFP served 390 families, operated over its budgeted capacity for more than 80% of the year and had a waitlist for services.
St. Luke’s NFP, a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke’s, is the local arm of the national, nonprofit Nurse-Family Partnership, which connects mothers living in poverty to their own personal nurse to transform the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
Nurses begin working with families early in pregnancy and continue until the child is two years old. Nurses visit families in their homes to provide assessments and education on health, development and parenting, setting life goals and sharing resources.
St. Luke’s NFP launched in 2001 and has grown into one of the largest NFP sites in Pennsylvania. During that time, it has provided services to more than 2,790 Lehigh Valley families.
“We understand the power of prevention and how important it is to start early,” Grabinski says.
“Changing health behaviors needs to have a two-generation approach. We work with mothers starting in pregnancy laying the foundations for a healthy baby. Partnering women with their own personal nurse for the first 1,000 days of their child’s life can have profoundly positive impacts for both mother and child that last a lifetime.”
First-time mothers who are interested in participating in St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership can call 484-526-2786 to determine their eligibility.
Those interested in supporting the St. Luke’s NFP may contact Tiffany Grabinski or Tina Wida at 484-526-2786 or visit https://www.slhn.org/vna/nurse-family-partnership. Or visit https://www.slhn.org/development/what-you-can-support/caring-for-children/nurse-family-partnership to make a donation to the St. Luke’s NFP.