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Ohio’s first in-home post-delivery nursing visits to begin

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(The Center Square) – A new state-sponsored program that supports new mothers with in-home nursing visits begins this summer with five organizations covering 11 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Family Connects, announced last week by Gov. Mike DeWine in his State of the State address, offers new families a home visit from a nurse around three weeks after the family brings their baby home.

“Family Connects will allow Ohio to offer support to every new mom and family right after they come home with their new baby, to answer questions or address concerns they may have, as well as connect them to any clinical or community support they need,” DeWine said. “Similar programs have a proven track record of reducing infant mortality. In places where these programs have been implemented, rates of child protective services investigations have decreased by 44 percent, and mothers showed a 30 percent drop in postpartum depression and a 50 percent reduction in emergency room visits.”

The visits are expected to begin during the summer, serving about 4,000 new families within the first year of the program. The partners and communities include:

· Every Child Succeeds will offer visits to families in 16 zip codes throughout Hamilton County.

· Fisher-Titus Medical Center will offer visits to families who deliver their babies at the Medical Center, which includes primarily residents of Huron and Erie counties.

· Greene County Public Health, Darke County General Health District, Fayette County Public Health and Sidney-Shelby County Health Department will offer visits to families in Darke, Fayette, Greene and Shelby counties.

· Mahoning Public Health and Trumbull County Combined Health District will offer visits to families in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

· Noble County Health Department and the Cambridge-Guernsey County Health Department: will offer visits to families in Noble and Guernsey counties.

“For families who didn’t get connected to one of our Help Me Grow Home Visiting programs during their pregnancies, Family Connects offers us another opportunity to check in to ensure that both mom and the baby are doing well,” Ohio Department of Children and Youth Director Kara Wente said. “We hope these visits help get families the support they need and also introduce them to the continuum of programs that the Department of Children and Youth, and our partners, can offer to them through childhood.”

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