Introducing six NFP graduates who will travel the country telling their stories and advocating for Nurse-Family Partnership
DENVER, COLO. (March 12, 2019) – One woman learned she was pregnant just before her husband was to be deployed in the military. Another feared for her future as the father of her child descended into addiction.
Confronting these daunting challenges is all in a day’s work for the team at Nurse-Family Partnership ®, which provides specially-trained registered nurses who make home visits for the first two years of a child’s life to first-time moms facing poverty and some of the toughest problems life can throw their way.
Nurse-Family Partnership is a 40-year-old evidence-based community health program that helps mothers experience healthy pregnancies and improved birth outcomes, and teaches parenting skills, child development and strategies to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
The Parent Ambassadors, who are graduates of the national Nurse-Family Partnership program, will engage policymakers and the public on the local, state and national levels to build awareness and understanding of the benefits of the program to families and communities.
“We are excited to have our Parent Ambassadors in the field sharing their experiences and creating greater understanding for how dramatically lives can be changed with the support of Nurse-Family Partnership,” said Sarah McGee, chief policy and government affairs officer at Nurse-Family Partnership. “They are proof of the effectiveness of this program for families and communities.”
These Parent Ambassadors will serve as advocates for NFP families and work to increase access to the program nationwide. They also will be a sounding board for leaders at NFP to ensure that the program is continuously responsive to the changing needs of families, and will help spread the word about the program through social media and personal outreach.
Parent Ambassadors also will work closely with NFP alumni, a group of about 400 graduates of the program who remain in close contact with leaders across the country, and provide support and advocacy for expanding the program.
Each cohort of Parent Ambassadors will serve for two years. The inaugural group includes:
Allison Pierre, 24, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who sought help from NFP when she was 19 and living with her child’s father who was sliding into drug addiction. With the help of her NFP nurse, she took charge of her life, finished high school and enrolled in nursing classes. In August 2016, she graduated from NFP, which is now based at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Amber Hill, 32, of Sacramento, California, was able to overcome barriers to access mental health care services and learned to advocate for her child and herself with the guidance of her NFP nurse. She graduated from NFP at Sacramento County Department of Health Services in Sacramento, California in January 2018.
Asia Wallace, 30, of St. Louis, Missouri, who was struggling financially when she discovered she was pregnant seven years ago. Thanks to support from her NFP nurse, she returned to school, found work and learned how to take care of herself and her son with skill and confidence. She graduated from NFP at St. Louis County Department of Public Health in St. Louis, Missouri in February 2014.
Lisa Warmels, 30, of Eugene, Oregon, who felt unprepared for motherhood when she and her partner found out she was pregnant. Her NFP nurse helped her to manage her postpartum adjustment, gain confidence, encouraged her to go to college, and helped her partner find employment. She graduated from NFP in Lane County in Eugene, Oregon in May 2018.
Megan Farrar, 32, of Garland, Texas, who was unmarried, unprepared and about to become unemployed when she learned she was pregnant. Thanks to the support of her NFP nurse, she was able to provide an incredible early childhood education to her infant. Today she is working on starting her own business with her husband. She graduated from NFP at WiNGS in Dallas, Texas in June 2018.
Gayle Geeter, 28, of Nashville, Tennessee, whose husband was about to be deployed in the military when she learned she was pregnant. Through personalized counseling from her NFP nurse, she acquired the skills to ensure a healthy pregnancy, learned how to be a successful single mother throughout her husband’s absence, and she and her husband were prepared for a successful transition into the family’s life after he returned home. She graduated from NFP at University Medical Center in El Paso, Texas in October 2016.
The Parent Ambassadors began their work with a training session in Denver in February.