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Health Department Participates In National Nurse-Family Partnership Program To Better Care For Children With Special Needs

HEALTHY, HAPPY BABIES: A child in Winston-Salem, North Carolina relishes playing with a toy stroller as part of the national Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and Maternal Child Health & Children with Special Health Care Needs Program.

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Eight people have graduated from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Virgin Islands Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and Maternal Child Health & Children with Special Health Care Needs Programs.

The 2017 NFP graduates are:

1. Kimberly Thomas/Malik Francis

2. Tynesha Jean/Z’nariah Thomas

3. Kenilla Pascal/Denae Cline

4. Tamika Charles/Adrion Charles

These local health care professionals participated in the NFP, in which mother and baby received home care visits from prenatal through the baby’s second birthday.

The Health Department said that it is “celebrating their commitment to incorporating and sustaining healthy habits that benefit them and their child.”

“The Department of Health’s annual graduation will be held on Friday, June 9, 2017 at the Windward Passage from 11:00am – 3:00 pm,” Health Department spokeswoman Nykole Tyson said. “We invite the media and public to the graduation and share in our celebration and show of support to these families.”

The NFP program helps improve the lives of vulnerable first-time mothers and their babies, through ongoing home visits from registered nurses. 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, positive behavior change, nursing screening and assessments, attentive parenting (i.e. reading to the child), as well as case management activities. Since the establishment of NFP in 2012, 88 families in the USVI have been served-as of June 2017. Outcomes achieved among families participating in the NFP program in the Virgin Islands include:

1. 100% of the babies received all immunization by 24 months of age

2. 92% of the mothers initiated breast-feeding

3. 90% of the babies were born full term

Nurse-Family Partnership Goals (

1. Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their healthcare providers, improving their diets and reducing their use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances.

2. Improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care.

3. Improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for their own future, plan future pregnancies, continue their education and find work.

For more information call Carmen Vanterpool-Romney, RN, Tel: (340) 777-8804 ext 2708,

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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