Training health care providers on how best to support young moms in their communities

The regional coordinators sure have been hard at work conducting large group trainings for the Young Moms Connect project! 

For those of you who are not yet familiar with the project, Young Moms Connect: Communities Supporting Young Families is a federal grant from the Office of Adolescent Health that is administered by the North Carolina Division of Public Health Women’s Health Branch. The March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign was contracted by the State to complete several facets of the Young Moms Connect project.

The purpose of this project is to offer support to women ages 13-24 years who are pregnant and/or parenting with self-sufficiency, health maintenance, and parenting skills. It also aims to bring together community partners to address the unique challenges faced by these young women using collaborative, multi-faceted strategies. Currently, Young Moms Connect is operating in five North Carolina counties: Bladen, Nash, Onslow, Rockingham, and Wayne. 

One component of YMC is training for health care providers and community partners on five maternal and child health best practices. Over the course of Young Moms Connect, staff with the March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign will train partners in the five counties on reproductive life planning; tobacco cessation; healthy weight; early entry into prenatal care; and establishment of a non-pregnancy medical home. 

To date, all five counties have received large group trainings on reproductive life planning and tobacco cessation. And I have to say, we have been so excited by the engagement we have witnessed through these trainings. Participants have covered the whole spectrum, including individuals from health departments, private providers, a hospital, Partnerships for Children, Cooperative Extensions, Departments of Social Services, and various community-based organizations. 

The positive feedback we have received about these trainings is overwhelming! After each training participants tell us they feel more knowledgeable about how to address reproductive life planning and tobacco cessation in their settings; love the resources and materials they can use to help their patients/clients be successful; and have the drive to put their new skills into practice. We are so impressed by the enthusiasm the organizations in each county have to work together, help young women, and make Young Moms Connect a success.

It is our hope that, starting this fall, we will be able to take the best practice trainings developed through Young Moms Connect into health departments, community health clinics, private practices, and other interested organizations throughout the state. Preconception health includes so many important topics that we can’t wait to spread these messages and skill sets to all of our counties! Be on the lookout in the coming months for contacts from your regional coordinator about hosting one of these awesome trainings. 

To find out more about Young Moms Connect, click here.

--Sarah Wright, MA

 

Revised: September 7, 2011

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