The USVI Department of Health (DOH) celebrated four families today, during a graduation for those who participated in the Virgin Islands Nurse-Family Partnership program (NFP). The mothers, fathers and children all received gifts, a catered lunch, other treats. The annual graduation was held at the Windward Passage from 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Commissioner Michelle, S. Davis, PhD, was present for the entire event, in which she opened the ceremony by applauding the parents (mothers and fathers) for their commitment to building healthy and strong families in the territory and recognized the participating nurses for their passion to serve:
“Today we celebrate- (left to right-mother/child):
1. Kimberly Thomas/Malik Francis
2. Tynesha Jean/Z’nariah Thomas
3. Kenilla Pascal/Denae Cline
4. Tamika Charles/Adrion Charles
These individuals participated in the NFP, in which mother and baby received home care visits from prenatal through the baby’s second birthday. We are celebrating their commitment to incorporating and sustaining healthy habits that benefit them and their families. The Department of Health is also very proud of the significant role the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program plays in building healthy families in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the establishment of the Nurse Family Partnership Program in 2012, at least 88 families in the USVI have been served. Results achieved among families participating in the Nurse Family Partnership program in the Virgin Islands include:
1. 100% of the babies have received all immunization by 24 months of age
2. 92% of the mothers initiated breast-feeding
3. And 90% of the babies were born full term
This is truly outstanding work and I cannot thank you- the nurses- enough for your commitment and dedication…”
The Nurse Family Partnership program helps improve the lives of first-time mothers and their babies, through ongoing home visits from registered nurses-from the prenatal stage until the child is 2 years of age. This evidence-based, community health program has proven results including long-term family improvements in health, education, and economic self-sufficiency. The nurses who visit first time mothers focus on building therapeutic relationships with new mothers and supporting them with education, goal setting, medical resources, positive behavior change, nursing screening and assessments, attentive parenting (i.e. reading to the child)-ensuring a bright future and solid foundation for the development of the child and family.