Celebration to Praise First-Time Families

Single parent Ashlei Watson and her young daughter have had to overcome obstacles. Through it all, Watson relied on strong family support and her nurse-home visitor Samara Silva, BSN, to better her situation by graduating from the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), a program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s (TTUHSC) Larry Combest Community Health & Wellness Center.

The Lubbock NFP program will host its Fifth Annual Celebration of First-Time Families from 6 to 8 p.m. June 24 at Covenant Women’s & Children’s Hospital Arnett Room, 4000 24th St., to celebrate success stories like Watson’s, said NFP Supervisor Lisa Dillard, R.N., MSN.

“Our party allows us to brag on NFP families, to provide them a family photo, a free meal and education in addition to door prizes,” Dillard said, “more importantly, to show that our community is working together to assure healthier families.”

NFP is a cost-effective, evidence-based program that provides at-home education for low-income, first-time mothers through their child’s second birthday. Studies have shown that first-time mothers who receive assistance from knowledgeable health care professionals are less likely to abuse or neglect their children, resulting in fewer childhood injuries and improved school readiness.

Watson, a Lubbock resident, is now also a Texas Tech University graduate, and works at the Bridge of Lubbock where she’s pursuing her master’s degree in public administration. In addition, she serves on the NFP advisory board and is a volunteer for Mentor Tech.

The event will bring together the Combest Center, NFP, and other community partners like Covenant Health System, FirstCare, Superior and Amerigroup. The event is also an opportunity to recognize Community Advisory Board members.

More than 200 people are expected to attend, with families across county lines and community partners, nurses, etc., to recognize the importance of healthy moms and babies, self-efficacy success, child maltreatment prevention, safety tips, and reading and literacy awareness.

To date, the Lubbock NFP program has enrolled more than 550 families, served more than 425 babies across nine counties in West Texas, and the program is approaching graduating 200 families. Nurse-home visitors complete between 2,500 and 3,000 home visits per year, and engage more than 50 percent of babies’ fathers in home visitation.

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