Panhandle Health District 800-878-2364

Nurse-Family Partnership

Nursing care for first-time moms.

Becoming a mother for the first time is an exciting experience, and also a challenging one. Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a free, voluntary program that partners first-time moms with registered nurses in Kootenai, Bonner, Boundary, Benewah and Shoshone counties. Through regular visits, nurses provide support, education, guidance and encouragement to first-time moms during pregnancy and until the child turns 2 years of age.

Nurse-Family Partnership is an evidence-based program with more than three decades of research demonstrating an improvement in pregnancy outcomes for women as well as an improvement in the health and development of their babies. It also works to improve economic independence for the family. First-time moms are encouraged to enroll as early as possible. Nurse-Family Partnership also encourages fathers, family members and even friends to get involved in the visits in order to learn how they can best support mom and her baby.

Who can enroll?

Any woman who:

  • Is less than 29 weeks pregnant with her first child
  • Meets income requirements (eligible for WIC)
  • Lives in any of the 5 northern counties: Kootenai, Bonner, Boundary, Benewah or Shoshone counties

Fill out a Referral Form

What NFP offers:

  • Partners registered nurses with low-income, first-time moms early in pregnancy
  • Improves prenatal health for mom so she can have a healthy baby
  • Mentors new moms in establishing and meeting education and career goals
  • Guides new moms to develop healthy and successful parenting skills
  • Promotes social, emotional and physical development for infants and toddlers
  • Helps new moms build a strong network of support
  • Improves school readiness for children.

Contact

Cindi Richardson, Nurse Manager
Email: crichardson@phd1.idaho.gov
Phone: (208) 415-5298
Text:(208) 797-4484
Address: 8500 N. Atlas Rd. Hayden, ID 83835

Client stories

Danielle, Kootenai County

Danielle Addy was 19 years old when she discovered she was pregnant. At the time, she was living in a small garage.

“I just thought I deserved it and that’s where I had to live,” Addy said. “I didn’t have a brighter side and was questioning everything.”

Addy enrolled as a client in the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program at the Panhandle Health District. As a young, first-time mother, she was referred to the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program and her outlook changed.

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) pairs low-income, first-time mothers with a trained nurse, who coach them throughout the pregnancy until their child’s second birthday. Nurses mentor the young mothers – encouraging them to finish their education, apply for better-paying jobs and set themselves on a path to financial stability, so they can support their family.

Just a couple weeks after Addy was referred, she was paired with Diana Bird, a registered nurse who began to visit Addy every week at her home.

During a typical visit, they would measure Addy’s son, Adrien, and track his milestones, even while he was still in the womb. They discussed challenges from baby blues and breastfeeding to getting rid of diaper rash.

“Being a single mom, working full time, you don’t have time to do research or go to the library, but with NFP, Diana comes to the house when you’re available and spends time addressing all the important questions,” Addy said.

Nurse Family Partnership allows the nurses to develop long-term relationships with the mothers, working with each client for over two years. In this case, Nurse Diana saw Addy’s confidence as a parent and as a woman grow week after week.

“All mothers want the best for their children,” Diana explained. “This program enables them to see their strengths and use them in parenting. I’ve seen clients who are in abusive relationships and I try to help them find resources to be safe. Others need help finding work or transportation or someone to point them to good child care.”

Most importantly, NFP nurses try to ensure these new mothers do not feel alone.

“Even when I was going from home to home, Diana was there. Diana was there the day Adrien was born and she was there on his second birthday.”

After Adrien’s second birthday, Addy became the first NFP graduate in the state of Idaho. With the program’s help, Addy and her son got themselves into a steady apartment, she has two jobs and is working towards become an RN. She is a confident mother of a beautiful, healthy boy.

She continued, “Back when I was pregnant, I couldn’t have imagined this. I truly can’t put value on the experience and knowledge Diana has given me. It’s priceless. There’s still a lot to learn, but I know that I am on the right track and that I’m the best advocate for my family.”

NFP is one the most rigorously tested programs of its kind. Randomized controlled trials conducted over the past 35 years demonstrate multi-generational outcomes for families and their communities. Mothers and children who have participated in the program have consistently shown significantly improved prenatal health, fewer subsequent pregnancies, increased maternal employment, improved child school readiness, reduced involvement in crime, and less child abuse, neglect and injuries.

Currently, the program is managed through the Panhandle Health District with 3 staff members, but increasing demand has left 15 women in need on a waiting list to get paired with a nurse. Two additional nurses will be joining the North Idaho team in the coming months. This will allow the program to reach 100 local women at any given time.

Born and raised in Coeur d’Alene, Diana had a nurse mentor her through her first pregnancy and knows how this type of support can impact a life forever. “It’s transforming lives and transforming our community. Strong women like Danielle are just the beginning of a bigger change to break the cycle of poverty.”

Referrals to Nurse-Family partnership are encouraged. For more information on how to apply for the program, call (208) 415-5298.

Melanie Collett is the public information/communications officer at Panhandle Health District.

Coeur d’Alene Press article: http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_9195450a-c79e-5f6a-a32f-10365c4cc918.html

17-year-old NFP client

“It’s like having a baby survival kit come to your house every week.”

19-year-old NFP client

“NFP taught me about how to care for myself during a difficult pregnancy and how to take care of my baby, but what I really learned from working with you and your consistent support of me was that I deserve what I want from life, and I am worth it.”

24-year-old NFP client

“All the information provided really helped me to be a more confident mom… I learned so much through the program and feel like I’ve been able to not only be a better mom, but person as well.”

32-year-old NFP client

“Nurse-Family Partnership has been a true blessing for my family. I’m a first-time mom who lost a baby and was scared to death being pregnant again… I learned so much I’m really glad I decided to do this program. I left the hospital feeling like ‘I’ve got this” instead of being so scared like I thought I would be. Thank you for connecting with me when I was hard to connect with and teaching me so much.”

Meet Our Nurse Family Partnership Team

Wendy Williams

RN/BSN, Nurse Home Visitor

Laska Rush

RN/BSN, Nurse Home Visitor

Kris Kono

RN/BSN, Nurse Home Visitor

Kelsey Chrisman

RN/BSN, Nurse Home Visitor

Gina Olsen

RN/BSN, Nurse Home Visitor

Cindi Richardson

RN/BSN, Nurse Manager

Christine Schmidt

Administrative Assistant