- Category: Local News
- Created on Sunday, 17 March 2013 12:02
San Diego, California - Noemi turns 2 on March 26, but the celebration started early for her and her mother Sandra Ibanez.
They were among nine first-time mothers and toddlers graduating from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program in Escondido on Wednesday.
The program pairs first-time expectant mothers with an HHSA public health nurse. The relationship begins during the first few months of pregnancy and continues through the first two years of the child’s life. The purpose is to provide the new moms with a steady relationship they can count on as they learn how to maintain a healthy pregnancy and then become a good parent.
The nurses makes regular home visits once or twice a month to encourage healthy habits, such as improving their diets, keep up with vaccinations, developing their parenting skills .
Ibanez was paired up with public health nurse Vivianne Jakobs.
“She was like my best friend,” said Ibanez. “She’s so nice and I call her all the time.
“I feel proud of graduating, but at the same time I feel sad.”
Despite the end of the program for Ibanez, she still plans on checking in with Jakobs periodically.
“I’m still going to talk to her, but it won’t be the same,” she said.
The program is geared toward helping young at-risk families in an effort to improve children’s development, encourage healthier habits for the family, and provide opportunities to improve the parents’ economic self-sufficiency.
“These parents and nurses have forged wonderful relationships, all for the betterment of our kids,” said HHSA Deputy Director Chuck Matthews.
“It’s been nice seeing the transformation and progress of Sandra,” said Jakobs.
NFP has helped Ibanez balance her schedule so she could complete a certified nursing assistants program at the same time as raising Noemi.
“It would be really hard without this program,” said Ibanez.
“Her dream is to be a nurse,” said Jakobs. “She’s an achiever.”
NFP has been available in the East County for 13 years, but this is the first time it is being offered in the North County. Another graduation was scheduled for today in Oceanside.