What: St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership leaders will discuss new program developments and welcome NFP clients as they share their stories. Local legislators will be encouraged to continue funding the program to help women, children and families in our region.
When: Wednesday, August 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus Auditorium, 421 Chew Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Each year more than 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. Because their mothers lack the necessary resources and support, their children face major barriers to leading healthy lives and escaping poverty
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 2. Nurses visit families in their homes providing assessments and education on health, development and parenting, setting life goals and sharing resources.
St. Luke’s NFP received $1,056,612 in state grant money in 2018-2019, accounting for roughly three-quarters of the program’s nearly $1.4 million budget. Continued public support is critical.
At St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus on Aug. 14, St. Luke’s NFP staff will educate local lawmakers about the program and encourage its continued funding to positively impact the lives of women, children and families in our region.
Bruce Clash, Pennsylvania State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, will speak about crime prevention through home visiting. Other speakers include Tiffany Grabinski, BSN, RN, NFP Program Manager; Tina Wida, BSN, RN, NFP, Program Manager, Kelly Berk, BSN, RN, MPH, Network Director of Maternal Child Initiatives; and two NFP clients whose lives and children have greatly benefited from St. Luke’s NFP.
Local and state legislators expected to attend include state Representatives Marcia Hahn, Jeanne McGill, and Peter Schweyer; state Senator Mario Scavello; and Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell. Staff also will represent Pennsylvania’s Senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey, Congresswoman Susan Wild, state Sen. Pat Browne, and state Representatives Justin Simmons and Michael Schlossberg.
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 VNA Nurse-Family Partnership has impacted the lives of 390 Lehigh Valley families since June of last year. 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,” Grabinski said.
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 2 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.
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 (cumulative):
- 78% of our mothers initiated breastfeeding
- 89 of babies born to mothers in our program were born at health weights
- 90% of babies born at term
- 95% 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, 76% had either received their GED or high school diploma or were enrolled to complete it at the time they completed the NFP program
- 71% of our mothers 18 and older were working at the time of graduation of the NFP program
- 77% of our moms graduating our program postponed having their second baby beyond 2 years
About St. Luke’sFounded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 residents and fellows. St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals. St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.