JUNE 23, 2008

Durham Connects program will launch in phases in Durham County…...


Durham, N.C. (June 23, 2008) - Durham Connects, the county’s first universal newborn home visiting program is set to launch this summer. The program will offer free in-home nurse visits to all parents of newborns in Durham County when the baby is about four weeks old. Durham Connects’ mission is to improve child-well being by bridging the gap between new parent needs and community resources. Nurses will congratulate the family with a new parent welcome bag including diapers, new parent information, a baby book and other useful items. During the visit, the nurse will provide a free physical assessment of the mom and baby, answer questions and make referrals to community resources.

"Durham County has so many wonderful resources for new parents. And all parents need support after the birth of a baby regardless of race, income or status." said Director of the Office of Community Resources, Jeannine Sato. "Our nurses are specially trained to make sure that parents get what they need to care for their baby during these critical first weeks and months, whether it be breastfeeding support, childcare information or any of the issues that new parents face."

The county has been divided into 20 geographic neighborhoods with a nurse assigned to each area. Durham Connects will launch in phases beginning this summer, as nurses are hired. The entire county will be offered nurse visits by 2010. To find out if you are in a coverage area, please contact Durham Connects at 919-668-3279.

About Durham Connects
Durham Connects is a program of the Durham County Health Department and The Durham Family Initiative (DFI), supported by Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy and the Center for Child and Family Health. Funded through The Duke Endowment, Durham Connects' mission is to increase child well-being by bridging the gap between new parent needs and community resources. Durham Connects provides universal visits to families of newborns in Durham County in order to support parenting skills and overall health. The program will provide in-home nurse visits to each new parent within 4-6 weeks postpartum through the Durham County Health Department. Core to Durham Connects’ mission is to create a seamless web of available community resources for families. Durham Connects has built an exhaustive database of agencies available to assist families with infant health, literacy, substance abuse, childcare, maternal health, social services, family support, mental health and financial issues. Durham Connects links new parents to these resources and follows up with each family to ensure the appropriate services were received. At full staff, Durham Connects will employ 20 full-time nurses and visit approximately 4,000 new families each year. The program is free to all new parents in Durham County. For more information, call 919-668-3279.