Visiting Nurse Association


Nurse-Family Partnership Event on Maternal Mental Health
September 27, 2023

The St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership will present “A Strong Start: Supporting the First 1,000 Days” on Thursday, October 5 from 10 am – 1 pm at Lehigh University’s Iacocca Hall.


This marks the first time since the pandemic that programming geared toward key stakeholders and the general public who share a vested interest in the well-being of families, women and children in Lehigh and Northampton counties will be offered by St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership.


“The event aims to highlight the critical role of the initial 1,000 days in shaping a child's future. This year, we are focusing on maternal mental health, and we will share a new collaboration that will reduce barriers to accessing mental health services for Nurse-Family Partnership clients experiencing depression,” explains Tiffany Grabinski, MSN, RN, Director of Maternal Child Programs – St. Luke’s Visiting Nurse Association.


Guest speakers during the event include:

  • Dr. Robert Ammerman – Professor of pediatrics, scientific director of Every Child Succeeds and developer of the Moving Beyond Depression model from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
  • Dr. David Olds – Professor of pediatrics, nursing and public health; director of the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; and founder of the Nurse-Family Partnership model.


In addition to acquiring insights from Dr. Ammerman and Dr. Olds, attendees will gain a deep understanding of the St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership and how it offers comprehensive support to families, and they will engage in a meaningful dialogue with Nurse-Family Partnership graduates through a panel discussion.


“This event will foster connections. Attendees will leave with a strengthened sense of community and have the opportunity to build a network of connections committed to promoting the well-being of families and children in our region,” Grabinski says.


The St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership has invited a diverse range of stakeholders to attend, including legislators, program champions, funders, community leaders, new program supporters and the general public.


“This inclusive approach ensures that our event gathers a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations that share a vested interest in the well-being of local families, women and children,” Grabinski notes.


Brunch will be provided. Seating is limited, so individuals and groups interested in attending should register early.


St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership works with low-income mothers to improve pregnancy outcomes, and child health and development, and to enhance the economic self-sufficiency of the family through the first 1,000 days of the child’s life. The program is based on decades of scientific research and the nurses’ compassionate support.


St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership has 12 full-time nurse home visitors and current capacity is 300 families. The program has served over 3,400 families since its launch in 2001, and its impact has been significant. Among participating families, key outcomes from the last fiscal year include:

  • 90% of babies were born at term;
  • 91% of clients initiated breastfeeding;
  • 100% of children screened at 24 months were up to date with their immunizations;
  • 76% of clients who entered the program without a high school diploma or GED had either earned their GED or high school diploma or were enrolled to complete it at the time they graduated St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership;
  • 71% of clients 18 or older were working at the time of St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership graduation; and
  • 84% of clients graduating St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership postponed having another baby beyond two years.


Grabinski explains that the effectiveness of the St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership is built upon several key pillars that set it apart.


“Central to its success is the specialized training and expertise of our nurses. These dedicated professionals establish a unique and nurturing nurse/client relationship grounded in trust and empathy,” she says.


“This bond enables them to not only provide essential health guidance and parenting education, but also to navigate complex medical and community systems, ensuring families have access to vital resources and support.”


In addition, the personalized home visits allow St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership nurses to empower parents with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions, fostering healthier pregnancies, improved child health and safety and enhanced parenting abilities.


“Together,” Grabinski continues, “these elements create a powerful synergy that drives positive outcomes, promotes self-sufficiency and contributes to the long-term success and well-being of families and their children. We deeply appreciate the ongoing support we receive from both our state and local community, which enables us to carry out this mission.”


Please consider supporting the St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership. To enroll in St. Luke’s Nurse-Family Partnership or to ask questions about the program, email or call 484-526-2786.