LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has been awarded grant funding in the amount of $625,000 over a two-year period to launch a Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program for St. Mary’s County. This funding was provided through a competitive grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC).
The NFP Program is an evidence-based home health intervention that brings first-time mothers health and wellness support services during their pregnancy and into the first two years of their child’s life.
The nurse home visitor coordinates with and enhances the routine prenatal and family care mom and baby receive through their personal medical providers.
Over 40-years of research has shown that NFP improves pregnancy outcomes, child health and development, and self-sufficiency of the participant families.
Over time, NFP in a community decreases pregnancy-related complications, healthcare encounters for childhood injuries, and behavioral and emotional problems in children.
NFP can also support improved family food security and employment – two social determinants that also impact long-term health outcomes.
“We are very grateful for the CHRC support that will help us to offer the Nurse-Family Partnership program to pregnant moms and young children in St. Mary’s County,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “This evidence-based initiative will be very effective at improving health outcomes for both mom and baby, preventing adverse childhood experiences, and advancing health equity for our community.
I am thankful to our public health professionals Angela Cochran, Ashley Milcetic, and Shannon Heaney for their exceptional work in competing for the grant and getting this program started.”
As the NFP initiative is launched, SMCHD will first target populations or geographic areas of the community experiencing worse pregnancy outcomes or greater challenges with social/economic factors linked to poor health.
To learn more about SMCHD’s women’s health programs, please visit: smchd.org/womens-health.