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Halifax Community College (HCC) has successfully secured grant funding for a Nurse-Family Partnership program in Halifax and Northampton counties.

The Nurse-Family Partnership program focuses on low-income, first-time parents, providing the support they need to be successful in the early months of their children’s lives. “This partnership is a vital service for our community,” said Kelly Eller, director of the HCC School of Nursing. “When we empower mothers in our community, we create a more confident society. It is vital that women in Halifax and Northampton counties have every opportunity available for success.”

The Nurse-Family Partnership program is a national endeavor, with collaboration for funding taking place with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. In North Carolina, the program started in 2000 in Guilford County. In 2008, it expanded into 16 counties. Today, the program serves 26 North Carolina counties.

After learning that the partnership was searching for a new home for its Northampton County services office, Eller reached out to the North Carolina office to inquire about working together. With approval from the state office, she worked with the national office in Denver, developing an implementation plan that would create a first-in-class partnership with HCC. The national office encouraged Eller to move forward, and the partnership began.

“This partnership program is the first in the country that pairs a community college with community healthcare leaders and residents,” said Dr. Michael Elam, president of HCC. “By managing this partnership within the Roanoke Valley, the HCC School of Nursing is once again remaining on the cutting edge of rural health practices. We are proud to offer leadership for the nation in this area.”

Michael Felt, chairperson of the HCC Board of Trustees, shared Elam’s sentiments. “What an incredible opportunity and recognition on the national level of the work being done in the HCC nursing department,” he said.

Through the Nurse-Family Partnership program, first-time parents are partnered with a registered nurse in the area, and provided training, education and encouragement throughout the first two years of their child’s life. Countless evidence proves that this model is beneficial to the entire family unit, creating stronger families and healthier children.

The partnership program will begin on Feb. 1, 2020.