U. S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis visited this week with families and staff from the Hillsborough County Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program. New parents Krystal and Horace Catia shared their experience with the program, highlighting the support and education both received prior to the healthy birth of their son, Ezra. Expectant mother Mariam Lutfiyya noted the value of information and instruction provided by her nurse home visitor.
Rep. Bilirakis discussed NFP’s return on investment and impact on outcomes, including family self-sufficiency and job training with staff from the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, Inc., MIECHV grantee for the program, and NFP National Office. The group also reviewed how funding from state, federal and local sources was successfully leveraged to ensure eligible families, identified through the Healthy Start screening process, were offered services that best meet their needs and preferences.
The NFP program in Hillsborough County is implemented through a partnership between the state Healthy Start Coalition and REACHUP, the federal Healthy Start initiative serving a high-need community in Tampa. NFP provides evidence-based home visiting to families starting in pregnancy and continuing until the child reaches age 2.
Rep. Bilirakis and staffer Summer Robertson received information about NFP, MIECHV and a profile of needs in Hillsborough County. In addition to the families, visit participants included Jane Murphy, Leisa Stanley and Brenda Breslow, Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough; Lo Berry and Vanessa Mishkit, REACHUP; Diana Strawbridge, Glorida George, and Carla McKnight, Hillsborough NFP staff; and Gabrielle Bargerstock, NFP National Office.