Area first-time moms and their children from low-income families will start school this fall well outfitted thanks to the “Smart Moms and Safe Babies” program organized by the St. Luke’s School of Nursing (SON) Student Nurse Association in coordination with the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP).
At the end of June, nursing students had placed specially marked boxes around the St. Luke’s University Health Network hospital campuses to collect donations of supplies that the moms and their kids would need when returning to school. At the end of July, the students collected the boxes and made up “Mom Totes” for the families with the items that had been donated. Items included backpacks, messenger bags, lunch boxes, pencils, pencil cases, glue, markers, folders, notebooks, binders and index cards. The totes were then given to children returning to school and moms returning to high school, attending technical schools and college, and completing their GEDs.
The program was expanded this year to include safety items for younger children. Safety items include outlet covers, doorknob covers, slide-type cabinet locks and smoke detectors.
Bags to be distributed at gathering, in-home visits
Several families were selected to receive their goodie bags at a gathering Thursday, Aug. 1, at the School of Nursing’s living room. Others will receive their tote bags and safety items by community health nurses when they visit the families in their homes. In the past, more than 100 totes with supplies have been distributed.
The NFP works with first-time low-income mothers to improve pregnancy outcomes, child health and development, and enhance the economic self-sufficiency of the family. “The NFP program is considered the gold standard for Pennsylvania,” said Nancy Kanuck, SON Student Nurse Association advisor. “It is an amazing program where nurses support families to make significant changes that impact their lives forever.”
The NFP is free to low-income first-time moms who are less than 28 weeks pregnant and who live in Northampton and Lehigh counties. The NFP is based on more than 38 years of research and is aligned with the National Service office for NFP that continues to conduct ongoing research and data collection to continue to improve the program.
The NFP has been shown to:
- Improve pregnancy outcomes,
- Improve child health and development,
- And improve families’ economic self-sufficiency.
About St. Luke’s
Founded 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.