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Published on April 01, 2010

New Moms/New Parents Project Educates Girls and Women About Good Health Through Presentations, Website and More

CHESTER - From coordinating presentations to attending community events to overseeing an interactive website, Crozer-Keystone’s iDECIDE team has been very busy. Their main goal? Educating and empowering young women to make the right decisions about their health.

iDECIDE is the campaign created by the New Moms/New Parents Project, which was established last year when Crozer-Keystone’s Women and Children’s Health Services was awarded a two-year federal grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The goal of the project is to measure and increase the community’s awareness about women’s health, lifelong good health and well-being, prenatal care information, and community resources that offer prenatal care and parenting skills education in Delaware County. The project is located at Community Hospital.

One of the primary activities undertaken by the iDECIDE team is making presentations to girls in Delaware County schools and organizations. These presentations, which are geared toward girls ages 13 to 18, focus on such topics as nutrition, exercise, folic acid, sexual health, stress/mental health, safe relationships, cyberbullying and hygiene. The topics were determined by information the project gained during focus groups it conducted with girls and young women aged 13-25 last summer. 

“We’re all really excited to be giving these presentations to girls. We feel we chose topics that both relate to their lives and pique their interests,” says Zannia Matthews, community development coordinator for the project.

Team members have also made appearances on programs on Power99 and WDAS, the project’s radio partners, and at a range of community events.

iDECIDE is using electronic communications to advance its message. iDECIDE helps girls and young women access important resources while also providing general information on the topics of interest. It gives visitors a place to learn, but also to share their opinion through interactive features. The project is also planning an e-newsletter. The colorful, attention-grabbing piece will focus on articles related to the project’s focus areas. To sign up for the newsletter, visit the website. The project also provides information through popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter

The iDECIDE team also welcomed Rima Himelstein, M.D. as the official medical adviser to the campaign. Himelstein is the director of Adolescent Medicine at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and the Smedley Wellness Center. Himelstein provides her expertise on all iDECIDE materials as well as overseeing all medical information.

“I am thrilled to be the medical adviser for Crozer-Keystone Health System’s iDecide campaign. This is an extremely important program that focuses on empowering girls and young women to be healthy physically and emotionally and to make choices that are good for them,” Himelstein says. “As an adolescent medicine specialist, I have heard too many times from adolescent girls, “If it happens, it happens.” Through iDecide, females are given information and provided with support and resources to be in control of what happens to them. This program is also aimed at helping parents and guardians support these goals for their children.”

Furthermore, the New Moms/New Parents Project also helps to promote Crozer-Keystone Women and Children’s Health Services programs such as Healthy Start and the Nurse-Family Partnership. Healthy Start links under-served pregnant women, parents, families and caregivers of children age 0-24 months to appropriate human, social, and health services. 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. 

Healthy Start and the New Moms/New Parents Project will host a free health fair, “Ready, Set, Grow: Into Good Health,” on May 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Southeast Conference Room at Community Hospital. Attendees of the fair can interact with representatives from various community organizations and get information about staying healthy. The event will include a live broadcast by Power99. The event is open to anyone in the community.

For more information about the New Moms/New Parents Project and iDECIDE, call (610) 497-7311, e-mail idecide@crozer.org.

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