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2/9/2017 This month Home Nursing Agency’s Nurse-Family Partnership® program marks ten years of serving first-time mothers in Cambria County. In January, the program also surpassed the milestone of serving more than 500 Cambria County clients. 

Home Nursing Agency is the local provider of Nurse-Family Partnership, a national, evidence-based program for first-time pregnant mothers that provides home visits and mentorship by a registered nurse. The program is free for mothers and provides support from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. 

“I was so nervous and scared when I found out I was pregnant. The first baby I ever held was my own,” explains Cambria County resident Megan Heit, who credits her Nurse Home Visitor Chrissy Anderson with helping her through her pregnancy and her daughter Dandelion’s early days. “My husband and I got all of our questions answered.” Megan Heit (left) credits Chrissy Anderson, nurse home visitor for Home Nursing Agency’s Nurse-Family Partnership, with building her confidence as a mother, which led to pursuing a position as breastfeeding peer counselor for Cambria County WIC (Women, Infants and Children), where she now empowers other young mothers.

In addition to providing reassurance and answering Heit’s medical questions, Anderson became a cheerleader and advocate who helped Heit to grow and recognize her own potential. 

“NFP gave me more confidence as a mom,” Heit says. “Chrissy would always affirm me and tell me what I was doing right, and she gave me a lot of confidence. That was part of why I reached out to look for a job.” 

While Heit desired to work outside the home to help support her family, she knew daycare costs would undercut her efforts. Anderson shared the option of subsidy for eligible parents, and she helped Heit to look for a trustworthy daycare for her daughter. 

“When I saw the ad in the paper for a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for WIC [Women, Infants and Children], I thought that was something I can do,” Heit says. Now Heit uses the affirmative and supportive techniques she learned from NFP to impact the lives of her clients. “My role is personal like Chrissy’s was with me. As I get to know my clients, they open up more to me. My favorite thing is that I can empower women to believe in themselves. They just need support to believe that.”

Nurse-Family Partnership operates in 42 states with goals of healthy pregnancy outcomes, healthy child development and a positive life course development. During visits, nurses bring information on topics that the mother chooses to discuss in a comfortable, conversational style. 

“The key to Nurse-Family Partnership's success is the positive relationship that develops between the mother and her nurse,” explains Lois Schultz, supervisor of Cambria County Nurse-Family Partnership who admitted the first client ten years ago. “The mother and her nurse really get to know each other so the nurse can provide information and support that is very helpful for the mother and tailored to her needs.” 

Home Nursing Agency’s Nurse-Family Partnership program is a grateful recipient of funding from the United Way of Laurel Highlands, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, 1889 Foundation, Lee Initiatives Inc. and Home Nursing Agency Foundation. The program is also supported by state and federal funding. 

About Home Nursing Agency:

Serving more than 21,500 individuals of all ages throughout Central Pennsylvania last year, Home Nursing Agency is the region’s premier not-for-profit provider of home healthcare, hospice and community-based services. Founded in 1968, Home Nursing Agency employs nearly 1,000 healthcare professionals who care for families with the highest quality of customer service. Home Nursing Agency’s ability to serve Central PA patients, clients and families was strengthened with the integration as part of UPMC Community Provider Services in 2013. Call Home Nursing Agency at 1-800-445-6262 or visit www.homenursingagency.com for more information. Home Nursing Agency is a United Way partner agency in Bedford County, Blair County, Huntingdon County and the Laurel Highlands.

 Megan Heit (left) credits Chrissy Anderson, nurse home visitor for Home Nursing Agency’s Nurse-Family Partnership, with building her confidence as a mother, which led to pursuing a position as breastfeeding peer counselor for Cambria County WIC (Women, Infants and Children), where she now empowers other young mothers. Nurse-Family Partnership is celebrating 10 years of service in Cambria County this month.