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Released by: Health Services
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Nurse-Family Partnership Announces its Five Year Anniversary

Santa Rosa, CA  –  May 8, 2015  –  nurse-family-partnership-250.png Sonoma County Nurse-Family Partnership today announced that it is celebrating its fifth anniversary and sixth client graduation. Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based, voluntary prevention program that provides nurse home visits to low-income, first-time mothers. Launched in July 2010 with initial grant funding from First 5 Sonoma County, NFP has served over 400 families. On May 12th, they will be celebrating the graduation of twenty first-time moms and babies from the program. Currently, there are 140 young mothers participating in the NFP program in Sonoma County.

"NFP is a proven public health program that enables the entire community to benefit from the services provided to these mothers and their children," said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Susan Gorin. "This evidence-based solution benefits the community both socially and financially, with an economic return of up to $5.70 for every public dollar spent on the program."

Nurses begin home visits early in the mother's pregnancy and continue until the child's second birthday. Nurses provide support, education and counseling on health, behavioral and self-sufficiency issues that in turn lead to the resiliency and positive behaviors needed for success in the workforce and life.

"NFP targets the crucial infant-toddler years as the prime opportunity to positively influence the course of a young child's life," added Supervisor Efren Carrillo, who is the liaison to the Department of Health Services (DHS). "This program takes advantage of this remarkable window of brain development during the first 1,000 days when development of functions such as hearing, language, and cognition are at its peak."

NFP is one the most rigorously tested programs of its kind. Randomized controlled trials conducted over the past 35 years demonstrate multi-generational outcomes for families and their communities. Mothers and children who have participated in the program have consistently demonstrated significantly improved prenatal health, increased maternal employment, improved child school readiness, reduced involvement in crime, and less child abuse, neglect and injuries.

"Too many infants and toddlers in Sonoma County lack the key resources needed for a good start on the school readiness path," said Elisabeth Chicoine, Director of Public Health Nursing, DHS. "They fall behind even before arriving at preschool or kindergarten."

"This is one of only a few evidence-based programs known to break the cycle of poverty for young families," stated Dr. Ellen Bauer, Public Health Division Director, DHS. "We see this as an important opportunity to reduce the disparities documented in Sonoma County in the recent A Portrait of Sonoma County report. We are actively seeking additional public and private investors to sustain and expand availability of this program throughout the county."

The graduation ceremony will commence on May 12 th at 3:00 p.m. at the Sonoma County Library, located at 211 E Street, Santa Rosa. To RSVP for the ceremony please contact (707) 565-6625. 

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