MATERNAL & EARLY CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVES

26 May
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SUMMARY
The Network is strongly committed to the goal of improving the health and well-being of women, infants, children and
families. The MCH Initiatives consist of three programs implemented through the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Luke’s: the
Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), Parent Advocate in The Home (PATH) and the Visiting Nurse Advocate for the County
(VNAC). Each of these programs has a slightly different focus with the goal being to create positive environments in which chil-
dren can grow in safe, healthy, and nurturing homes. Together, the MCH programs address priority areas: pregnancy outcomes
including low birth weight and preterm birth, the prevention of child abuse, and keeping children on track physically and devel-
opmentally.
Over 700 families were served by these three programs this past year. While the MCH programs through the VNA serve
families in Northampton and Lehigh Counties, the Nurse-Family Partnership is implemented widely throughout Pennsylvania and
Network entities have associations with those NFP sites as well. While both Bethlehem and Allentown are served by this NFP
site, St Luke’s Miners campus has formed a relationship with the Schuylkill County NFP, St. Luke’s Warren campus is served by
the New Jersey NFP program in Sussex, Warren, and Hunterdon Counties and the future St. Luke’s in Monroe County is served
by the NFP in Monroe and Pike Counties. The added benefit of this is that as clients move from one area to another, we are able
to transfer them between sites.
• In NFP, the median age of clients at intake is 19 years (range 13 – 40 years) and only 9% of our clients are married when en-
rolled in NFP. 55% of clients identify themselves as Not Hispanic or Latina while 45% identify themselves as Hispanic or
Latina
• 78.4% of our clients at The NFP of St. Luke’s are currently in a diploma/GED completion program or have completed a GED
or High School Diploma by 24 months postpartum. This is significantly higher compared to the state average of 67.4%, and
national NFP average of 60.9%. It is also noteworthy that out of 78.4%, 23.8% NFP clients are pursuing higher education. Of
those clients who were 18 or older at intake, workforce participation increased from 42.4% at intake to 74.1% at program com-
pletion. (State NFP average = 66.8%; National NFP average = 67.7% at completion).
• 218 families were served in the Lehigh Valley through the PATH program. 25% of clients were pregnant, and 73% had a child
at intake. 48% identified themselves as non-Hispanic/Latina while 51% identified as Hispanic/Latina. 8% were married
and 86% had an income of less than $15,000 per year.
• 43% of parents enrolled in VNAC completed high school/GED. Parents with criminal involvement accounted for 55 (37%) of
cases with 50% of cases having drug and alcohol-related issues identified at intake. A history of domestic violence was report-
ed in 30% of cases, with physical abuse and neglect present at the time of referral in 23% of cases.
• Bethlehem Health Bureau and Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance organized the second child abuse prevention conference
in November, 2013 and a mandatory child abuse reporter training in April 2014 in addition to the Front Porch Project.
• Continued participation in the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Coalition (LVBC). The vision is to create a breastfeeding friendly
culture and environment among hospitals, businesses, and local leaders that will lead to sustainable change in policies focused
on promoting breastfeeding support, education, and the absence of formula-based product promotion.
HIGHLIGHTS

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SUCCESSES
CHALLENGES & NEXT STEPS
PARENT ADVOCATE IN THE HOME — PATH
Report Submitted in 2014
We appreciate the volunteers who work in our office to maintain the paperwork and support our nurses as well as those in the com-
munity.
NURSE FAMILY PARTNERSHIP — NFP
• We have seen a severe reduction in state funds
available for smoking cessation programs. Even
with these obstacles, our NFP clients show a high-
er reduction in smoking when compared to the
state and national averages.
• VNA of St. Luke’s NFP program is lower than
both state and national averages for low birth
weight and very low birth weight:
• The National NFP benchmark for immunizations at 24 months is
90%. The VNASL NFP data shows our immunization rate is 92.1%
• The VNASL NFP data shows 22.6% of mothers reported subsequent
pregnancies by 24 months postpartum, better than the state and national
NFP average of 28.6 and 28.7% respectively. The national NFP bench-
mark is <25%.
• The VNA of St. Luke’s Preterm Birth rates are significantly lower
than the state and national NFP averages:
VISITING NURSE ADVOCATE FOR THE COUNTY — VNAC
• General Safety Assessments were completed upon admission and child safe-
ty was assessed at each visit. Of the 106 cases closed in the fiscal year, the
family unit was maintained in 57 (53%) of cases and 42 remained open. It is
recognized that in some cases a child is safest when removed from the fami-
ly home. 8 children were successfully reunified with parents/guardians.
• Of the 148 children in VNAC, 109 (74%) stayed within a healthy BMI range
and 3 children improved into a healthy BMI range. Nine of the 148 children
(6%) active in the VNAC program were classified as Failure to Thrive at
intake. (Defined as weight below the third percentile on a standard growth
chart or 20% below the ideal weight for height).
• Nursing documentation indicates parenting education and the parent’s response to the teaching in all cases. Documentation
also identifies referrals to community resources.
% Low Birth
Weight
% Very Low Birth
Weight
NFP VNASL
9.4%
1.3%
PA NFP
10.1%
1.7%
NATIONAL NFP
9.8%
1.6%
HP 2020 Target
7.8%
1.4%
• The Protective Factors Survey (PFS) is
used to assess family functioning in five
key areas
• Additionally children
in the PATH program
are assessed for devel-
opmental progress us-
ing the Ages and Stag-
es Questionnaire
(ASQ) and the Ages
and Stages Social
Emotional (ASQ-SE).
• The Life Skills Progression (LSP)
tool: is used to measure family pro-
gress in seven key areas:

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