Healthy Start is available for expectant mothers and families with children up to age 3. Healthy Start offers screenings for mothers and their infants, care coordination for moderate-risk patients and case management for high-risk patients.
Ongoing prenatal and parenting education is provided, along with home visits for one-on-one support. Nurses can also assist with referrals and connecting patients with other health care providers, like dietitians and social workers.
Ana-Bernal Martinez, a registered nurse with Healthy Start, emphasized, “Whether patients are uninsured or underinsured, or have language or socioeconomic barriers, we are here to support them.”
A mom successfully completes the program after 13 months, but the relationship with her nurse does not stop there.
“We have had moms come back when they’re expecting their second child, asking for the same nurse,” said Martinez. “They want to continue their relationship with the same person after that initial level of trust was developed.”
A mother of a premature baby born at UF Health recently sent a kind letter to thank staff and Martinez for all the support and guidance provided throughout her pregnancy and beyond. About Martinez, she emphasized, “You have always been a phone call away. You cared about my mental and physical health. You are such a nurturing person. I learned so much through our day, night and evening conversations. You made (having a child during) the pandemic OK because you always answered my calls!”
NFP is a two-year home-visit program for new parents living in high-risk communities. Specially trained UF Health nurses provide education and support to first-time mothers. Mothers can be referred by Little Miracles, Connect or any other agency.
Once the child turns 2, NFP nurses and families take part in a celebratory graduation ceremony. Camila Restrepo, a registered nurse with NFP, continuously develops lasting relationships with patients in the program.