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November 16, 2021

Announcing: Nurse-Family Partnership in Weber County


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$1.2 Million Gift to Intermountain Foundation Helps Nonprofits Provide In-Home Visits to Help New Moms and Young Children in Weber County

Intermountain Healthcare is joining with the nonprofit organizations Prevent Child Abuse Utah and the United Way of Northern Utah’s Welcome Baby Program to coordinate in-home visiting programs for at-risk moms and young children in Weber County — an effort funded in part by a $1.2 million gift to the Intermountain Foundation from a Utah family.

These organizations offer various programs in Weber County that provide in-home visits to pregnant and new mothers and their young children. Each program has goals to improve outcomes for moms during and after pregnancy and/or help babies and young children reach certain developmental milestones.

The new Home Visiting program includes Parents as Teachers, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Welcome Baby, and provides moms and families with health, parenting and educational resources, as well as emotional support.

“This bolstered program will help simplify the referral process and create ‘one front door’ to connect moms-to-be at the right time to the various programs, which provide in-home visits, support and resources to help moms and their babies thrive,” said Sean Esplin, MD, senior medical director for women’s health at Intermountain Healthcare.

The Home Visiting program will be administered by Prevent Child Abuse of Utah, which will coordinate the various types of home visits for pregnant moms, dads, and children up to age 5.

“There is national data that shows that Utah ranks last in maternal mental health, with 46.1 percent of children under age 3 whose parent reports they are not coping very well,” said Laurieann Thorpe, executive director, Prevent Child Abuse Utah.

“The parents we serve often say, ‘Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, but home visiting is the handbook.’  The difference in-home visits can make for families is transformative. We help celebrate the skills parents intuitively have and help them make small changes over time. 

Parenting is hard, and Utah parents need to overcome the stigma about needing parenting help, and know that help is available, and it works,” Thorpe added.

Home visits help with parenting and family health. A mother and child’s wellbeing can be impacted by factors outside their control, including poverty or food or housing insecurity. Such stressors can put children and adults at risk for developing chronic health problems including heart disease and cancer.

“Addressing these risk factors early on, and through evidence-based programs like the Home Visiting program, gives children more opportunities to thrive and promotes a healthier community,” said Neal Davis, MD, medical director of pediatric community-based care for Intermountain Healthcare. “This partnership is one way Intermountain Healthcare, with the help of philanthropy, is investing in a model health system for children and working to improve the overall health of children in the communities we serve.”

 The funding for the Nurse-Family Partnership in Weber County was provided by Utahns Scott and Kari Spendlove. This program is part of Intermountain’s vision to build the model health system for children.

 “The Nurse-Family Partnership program is an inspiring, powerful resource that helps mothers, babies, and fathers, and strengthens families – all of which benefit communities,” Kari Spendlove said. “We are very excited and grateful to be part of this initiative, supported by many organizations sharing the noble goal of giving children a great start in life.”

 Home visits are provided by nurses, paraprofessionals, and trained volunteers during pregnancy or afterward for families with children under age 5, depending on the program. All Weber County residents who are pregnant or have a child under 5 years old and think they could benefit from extra support, can qualify for free in-home visits.

“This generous donation from the Intermountain Foundation will help re-establish services provided for families in Weber County. It’s a game-changer for improving outcomes for families and building stronger communities,” said Cam Scott, senior government affairs manager at the National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First.

 “We applaud Intermountain Healthcare for launching this innovative, coordinated effort to expand home visiting throughout Weber County, and hope this initiative will be seen as a smart growth model across the state.”

More than 44 years of research show that the national Nurse-Family Partnership program is effective at improving pregnancy outcomes, child development, reducing child abuse and juvenile crime, and other positive outcomes.

 Women interested in participating in the program can talk to their doctor or midwife about a referral or call (801) 393-3366 or visit the Prevent Child Abuse Utah website – preferably before they’re 29 weeks pregnant if possible – to see what services are available during pregnancy or after their child’s birth.

 People who are interested in becoming trained as volunteers with Welcome Baby to visit with new mothers and their babies monthly and deliver age-appropriate learning kits for babies and children can contact United Way of Northern Utah. Volunteers with Spanish fluency are needed.

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Intermountain Healthcare is joining with the nonprofit organizations Prevent Child Abuse Utah and the United Way of Northern Utah’s Welcome Baby Program to coordinate in-home visiting programs for at-risk moms and young children in Weber County — an effort funded in part by a $1.2 million gift to the Intermountain Foundation from a Utah family.

Media Contact

Holly Nelson

801-971-1896

Holly.Nelson2@imail.org