Episcopal Health Foundation awards grant to Nurse-Family Partnership

Published 11:39 am Saturday, July 11, 2015

By Madeleine Fuselier

The Episcopal Health Foundation recently awarded a grant of $98,642 to Nurse-Family Partnership to assist Orange County and twelve other Texas counties. Nurse-Family Partnership is a program that matches low-income, first-time mothers with specially trained public health nurses who offer them support during and after pregnancy.

Through the program, a nurse regularly visits the mother’s home beginning during pregnancy and continuing until the child turns two years old. The nurse ensures the mother gets necessary prenatal care, teaches the mother how to properly care for her child, and helps the mother plan for the future. The mission of Nurse-Family Partnership is to ‘Empower first-time mothers living in poverty to successfully change their lives and the lives of their children through evidence-based nurse home visiting.’

“We strive for healthy babies and healthy moms. We want them to be successful. We want them to get out of the system and achieve their dreams,” Karla Quigley, nurse supervisor serving Orange County with the Nurse-Family Partnership agency in Port Arthur said.

In order to qualify for an Episcopal Health Foundation grant, an organization must align with one of the Foundation’s seven strategies for improving the health of a community. Nurse-Family Partnership fulfills that requirement by enhancing early childhood development. Additionally, a potential grant-receiving organization must have a focus on the future.

“Each of our grant partners are working toward long-term sustainable solutions to health problems, and not just short-term fixes,” Elena Marks, president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation said according to a press release.

“One of our key goals is prevention and to discover the root causes of issues. [Nurse-Family Partnership] has been very successful in stopping issues before they start. When you have that in a community it has a kind of ripple effect and it just helps the community as a whole,” Brian Sasser, director of communications for the Episcopal Health Foundation said.

Nurse-Family Partnership efforts have already made a positive impact in Orange County. “I have been with the Nurse-Family Partnership for six years now, and we have seen the majority of our clients who are in high school complete high school or get a GED. We have [also] seen a decrease in the child abuse rate,” Quigley said. “Orange is probably our number two referral source. [The Episcopal Health Foundation has] done a great job supporting us so we in turn can help the mothers of Orange County.”

Quigley is excited to see how the grant from the Episcopal Health Foundation will contribute to furthering the mission of Nurse-Family Partnership.

“I really whole-heartedly believe in what we do,” Quigley said.

First-time mothers seeking assistance are encouraged to contact our local Nurse-Family Partnership agency at 409-983-8877.