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Welcome Baby program returns to Skagit Valley Hospital

Oct 18, 2019, 14:02 PM
A partnership between United Way of Skagit County and Skagit Regional Health, the Welcome Baby program connects new parents with services and resources.

An updated Welcome Baby program is back at Skagit Valley Hospital after a several-year absence offering parents and baby practical and emotional support from the earliest age.

A partnership between United Way of Skagit County and Skagit Regional Health, the program connects new parents with services and resources to support their efforts to educate their children and empower families. After operating in Skagit County for a decade, the program lost county funding in 2008. United Way decided to support and restart the program this year and Chief Medical Officer Connie Davis, MD noted Skagit Regional Health is pleased to again host Welcome Baby.

“We are thrilled about partnering with United Way to bring Welcome Baby to Skagit County. Skagit Regional Health wants to actively help new parents and their children develop a nurturing and safe home environment,” Dr. Davis said. “This program provides the opportunity for every parent with a new baby to learn about ways to optimize their child’s early development, to obtain assistance on issues such as nutrition, breastfeeding and improving home safety. United Way and Skagit Regional Health are proud to work together to support the success of families.”

Mother with newborn in hospital bedDebra Lancaster, Executive Director of United Way of Skagit County, said the Welcome Baby program fits in perfectly with the organization’s focus on early childhood education.

“We are so excited to partner with Skagit Valley Hospital to bring Welcome Baby to new parents! United Way’s mission is to build a positive and sustainable quality of life for all. The best way to accomplish that is to start at the beginning . . . helping babies and their families gain access to the myriad resources available in Skagit County that will help them thrive,” Lancaster said. “A warm welcome on the first day and fun, informative newsletters every month offers the emotional support that parents have told us are so meaningful. We are looking forward to a future of children ready to learn.”

Jen Lindbeck, the Welcome Baby coordinator, started visiting families with new babies in late July. She provides each child with a resource bag of items, including diapers, a blanket, board book and information on resources.

Most importantly, she said, she spends time talking with the new mom or family to make sure they have the resources they need when they leave the hospital to make sure the parent and child are on a course for success.

“We can be a connection to resources, from basic needs to child care. Parents often don’t know what resources are available or how to find them,” Lindbeck said. “We have a resource-rich community and many are underutilized. I can be the bridge that connects them to resources.”

Parents who get signed up with Welcome Baby while in the hospital are then part of the “Welcome Baby community” that offers access to e-newsletters, parenting groups, play groups, peer-to-peer support groups and more.

Early learning is a key to a child’s success in school and beyond. As noted in a 2018 report titled “First 1,000 Days: A Call to Action,” published by Skagit County, the Population Health Trust and the Children’s Council of Skagit County, “a child’s brain grows very quickly during the first 1,000 days . . . healthy brain growth results in a strong foundation for future learning, behavior and lifelong health.”

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Last post : 11/18/2019

Welcome Baby program returns to Skagit Valley Hospital

Oct 18, 2019, 14:02 PM
A partnership between United Way of Skagit County and Skagit Regional Health, the Welcome Baby program connects new parents with services and resources.

An updated Welcome Baby program is back at Skagit Valley Hospital after a several-year absence offering parents and baby practical and emotional support from the earliest age.

A partnership between United Way of Skagit County and Skagit Regional Health, the program connects new parents with services and resources to support their efforts to educate their children and empower families. After operating in Skagit County for a decade, the program lost county funding in 2008. United Way decided to support and restart the program this year and Chief Medical Officer Connie Davis, MD noted Skagit Regional Health is pleased to again host Welcome Baby.

“We are thrilled about partnering with United Way to bring Welcome Baby to Skagit County. Skagit Regional Health wants to actively help new parents and their children develop a nurturing and safe home environment,” Dr. Davis said. “This program provides the opportunity for every parent with a new baby to learn about ways to optimize their child’s early development, to obtain assistance on issues such as nutrition, breastfeeding and improving home safety. United Way and Skagit Regional Health are proud to work together to support the success of families.”

Mother with newborn in hospital bedDebra Lancaster, Executive Director of United Way of Skagit County, said the Welcome Baby program fits in perfectly with the organization’s focus on early childhood education.

“We are so excited to partner with Skagit Valley Hospital to bring Welcome Baby to new parents! United Way’s mission is to build a positive and sustainable quality of life for all. The best way to accomplish that is to start at the beginning . . . helping babies and their families gain access to the myriad resources available in Skagit County that will help them thrive,” Lancaster said. “A warm welcome on the first day and fun, informative newsletters every month offers the emotional support that parents have told us are so meaningful. We are looking forward to a future of children ready to learn.”

Jen Lindbeck, the Welcome Baby coordinator, started visiting families with new babies in late July. She provides each child with a resource bag of items, including diapers, a blanket, board book and information on resources.

Most importantly, she said, she spends time talking with the new mom or family to make sure they have the resources they need when they leave the hospital to make sure the parent and child are on a course for success.

“We can be a connection to resources, from basic needs to child care. Parents often don’t know what resources are available or how to find them,” Lindbeck said. “We have a resource-rich community and many are underutilized. I can be the bridge that connects them to resources.”

Parents who get signed up with Welcome Baby while in the hospital are then part of the “Welcome Baby community” that offers access to e-newsletters, parenting groups, play groups, peer-to-peer support groups and more.

Early learning is a key to a child’s success in school and beyond. As noted in a 2018 report titled “First 1,000 Days: A Call to Action,” published by Skagit County, the Population Health Trust and the Children’s Council of Skagit County, “a child’s brain grows very quickly during the first 1,000 days . . . healthy brain growth results in a strong foundation for future learning, behavior and lifelong health.”