Women & Children's Health Services Introduces Nurse-Family Partnership Program - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Women and Children's Health Services Introduces Nurse-Family Partnership Program

From left to right are
Damika Simpson, RN,
BSN, Amy Martin, RN,
BSN; and Kimyatta Frazier,
RN, BSN. 

The Crozer-Keystone Nurse-Family Partnership Program was launched this year by Women’s and Children’s Health Services with the support of a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. Similar programs exist throughout Pennsylvania, but Crozer-Keystone’s was the only new program funded in the state in 2007.

The Nurse-Family Partnership Program is a free nurse home-visiting program designed to help first-time, low-income parents navigate through pregnancy, infancy and toddler hood.

Parents meet with a bachelor’s prepared visiting nurse to tackle the many challenges that face new families.

Crozer-Keystone’s program, which is based at Community Hospital, is part of a national initiative developed more than 30 years ago to help reduce crime, delinquency, child abuse, and neglect. In other areas, the program has successfully improved birth and childhood outcomes and helped parents develop the skills they need to raise a family.

The program achieves these goals by teaching first-time parents how to get the most out of their prenatal care, learn essential parenting skills, answer questions as they arise, learn about important health issues, gain confidence in their own abilities as parents, plan future pregnancies, increase life skills and connect to valuable resources in their community.

Nurse home visitors make visits every week or two throughout the pregnancy until birth and maintain a relationship with the family through routine visits until the child turns 2.

“Building trust and developing a strong relationship between the nurse and the families are the foundations of our work,” says Amy Martin, RN, BSN, supervisor. “This can be challenging because many expectant mothers have never had anyone they could trust before. Having quality time to spend with these mothers and families makes Nurse-Family Partnership a unique and rewarding job for nurses.”

The program receives referrals from a range of sources, including Crozer’s Pearl Hall, WIC, Delaware County Child and Youth Services, midwives, OB/GYNs and others.  “We are happy to be seeing more self-referrals now as the word is getting out about our services,” notes Martin.

For more information about the program, call (610) 497-7344 or nfp@crozer.org