Erlanger starts new community health program for first time moms

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The Tennessee Department of Human Services awarded Erlanger Health System with a “2Gen” grant to fund the formation of a new community health program.

The program is called Nurse-Family Partnership, to help first-time, low-income mothers in the Chattanooga region.  

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 The program is an evidence-based program that serves women and teens who meet specific income requirements and who are expecting their first child.

“The program is intended to change the future for the most vulnerable mothers and babies in poverty. We give first time moms trusted support from their own personal nurse throughout the babies first 1,000 days so that’s from pregnancy all the way up until the babies second birthday,” says Elizabeth Morton, Program coordinator. 

Each mother is partnered with a registered nurse early in her pregnancy and receives regular visits until the child reaches two years of age.

During these visits, an NFP nurse can help an expectant mother learn more about personal and environmental health.

“We teach moms how to play with their baby, how to engage with their babies and how to bond with their babies. There are some foundational principles that the program is built on and one of them is mom and baby attachment. If we can support and empower mothers their babies will have healthier futures,” says Morton. 

 To be eligible, the participant/family must be at or below the 200% poverty level and the participant must enroll before the 28th week of pregnancy.

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