Thu May 18th, 2023
Tags: Childrens Health, Family Spirit Program, Good Brain Strong Heart, Sandra Beirne MD, Southern Ute Health Center, Tribal Health Department
Last month, the Tribal Health Department launched an early home-visiting program called Family Spirit. It is a national program through the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health. Anyone who is eligible for care at the Southern Ute Health Center and is pregnant or has a child up to the age of three years old can be a part of Family Spirit. In the program, a family is paired with one of our team members who will provide support and education about the stages your child goes through. You may talk about sleep or feeding or toothbrushing or any other topics you have questions about. Meet-ups can be in the home, clinic, park, or wherever the family is most comfortable.
We started Family Spirit here because early home-visiting programs have been really clearly shown to improve the health of children and families. It promotes positive parenting, encourages healthier mothers and kids, helps child development and school readiness, and aids in preventing child abuse and neglect. They can have a really powerful positive impact on a family and a community. We chose Family Spirit because it is the only family home visiting program created by and for Native American communities that has been shown to be effective.
We are excited about the potential of Family Spirit and getting to spend time with kids and their families! Please reach out if you are interested in participating in or learning more about the program or have suggestions on how to make it work best for this community. You can call the Southern Ute Health Center at 970-563-4581 and let them know you want to talk about Family Spirit.
For more information about early home visiting or Family Spirit, check out: https://cih.jhu.edu/programs/family-spirit-home-visiting-program/ or https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hpb20190321.382895/full/ or https://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/tribal.