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The nurse home visiting program implemented at Halifax Community College is the recipient of national recognition for exceptional commitment to improving the lives of families and communities.

Northeastern North Carolina Nurse-Family Partnership at Halifax Community College will receive the Tenacious Caregiver Award for Network Partner from the national service office for Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First Tuesday at its annual education summit. 

The Re:Connect 2021 conference provides an opportunity for NFP nurses from across the country to learn and share best practices with regard to serving first-time mothers and their children. 

The national NFP presents four annual Tenacious Caregiver Awards to “professionals who exemplify an extraordinary commitment to delivering the NFP model and achieving positive outcomes for families.” 

HCC’s program will receive the award for exceeding the standards set by the national service office of Nurse-Family Partnership.

“The Nurse-Family Partnership model promotes building substantial, meaningful relationships in which everyone thrives,” said HCC President Michael A. Elam. “This recognition is a testament to the college’s mission of meeting the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education, training and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace. It is an honor to share this award as part of a vital collaboration that has such a lasting impact.”

The NFP organization helps a woman pregnant with her first child become the best mom she can be. The program is free and voluntary for women who qualify. Each expectant woman connects with her own personal nurse who works alongside her throughout her pregnancy until her child’s second birthday to help her accomplish her goals and give her child a healthier start.

The nurse supports her in having a healthy pregnancy, improving her birth outcomes and her child’s health and development. The nurse also encourages the mom to become economically self-sufficient by setting goals to continue school and pursue her career ambitions.   

 “With heart and tenacity, these NFP leaders are honored for their outstanding service to their clients and greater communities,” said Kate Siegrist, chief nursing officer for Nurse-Family Partnership in a press release. “These tenacious caregivers have demonstrated their dedication to partnering with families to transform lives and build brighter futures for generations to come.”

The program at HCC is the first and only NFP agency to be implemented by a community college and serves five counties including Halifax, Nash, Northampton, Edgecombe and Hertford.

“Put simply, great nurses strengthen families,” said HCC Nursing Program Director Kelly Eller who is also the NHP program administrator for the college. “Each NFP nurse receives unique training to provide first-time expectant mothers with invaluable knowledge and support during their pregnancies. The nurses then continue to serve the family until the child reaches age two. These relationships build trust to provide positive, measurable and long-term benefits for the entire family.”

HCC Program Supervisor Blair Creekmore said the local community advisory board, comprised of hospitals, health departments and community partners, is key to the support of clients and families.

During the pandemic, the nurses in the program have been dedicated to serving more families and carrying high caseloads of families. They have led innovative strategies to maintain their connections with their clients and keep their referral partners engaged.

“With each visit, our nurses strive to nurture and support families in the areas they serve,” said Creekmore. “Despite the pitfalls related to COVID-19, our nurses persevered and stayed engaged with their clients. They exemplified the spirit of the NFP Tenacious Caregiver Award.”

The four HCC nurse visitors are Amanda Ray, who serves Nash and Edgecombe counties; Kim White, who serves Halifax and Northampton counties; Maria Fleming,who serves Edgecombe and Nash counties and Wendy Wright, who serves Nash, Edgecombe and Hertford counties.

 Expectant women can contact Nurse-Family Partnership to see if they qualify for this free program by visiting nfpmoms.org or by calling or texting 844-637-6667.