A major grant award will help Thurston County provide health care services to vulnerable families in Thurston, Lewis, and Mason counties.
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) National Service Office Incentive Fund awarded $796,892 to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services NFP to increase care for new mothers and families living in vulnerable situations. The funds were awarded in November 2018, but were announced by the NFP National Service Office in late February.
Over the next three years these funds will be distributed to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services NFP program, which serves Thurston, Lewis, and Mason counties. Thanks to the additional funding, the program will now be able to increase both the quality and quantity of its care, opening up 85 spots for new families in the tri-county area to be served.
Nurse-Family Partnership aims to make the transition into parenthood as smooth and nurturing as possible, for both parents and infants. NFP partners registered nurses with vulnerable families to provide in-home resources, support, and information until the babies are 2 years old.
Not only does the program significantly improve breastfeeding and immunization rates, with 97 percent of participating mothers breastfeeding their children, data from the program shows it reduces infant mortality by 48 percent, smoking during pregnancy by 25 percent, child maltreatment by 33 percent, and childhood behavioral and intellectual problems by 67 percent. By age 2, 97 percent of children enrolled in the program are reportedly fully immunized, and 85 percent have visited a physician’s office.
The funding will improve the care for these new mothers and allow for increased staffing at the Thurston NFP branch.
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