Local Women Champion Nurse Family Partnership Before Congress

Kudos to Crystal Towne and Sherene Sucilla! The two Yakima Valley women testified before a Congressional committee last week about the importance of the Nurse-Family Partnership, urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means to continue their support for the program.

The Nurse-Family Partnership is the leading nurse home visiting program for first-time, low-income moms and their families. Memorial is proud to help serve Central Washington families through the voluntary program, which is housed at Children’s Village and has the capacity to serve 150 families.

NFP nurses and their clients make a 2½ year commitment to one another. They develop strong relationships over their course of 64 planned visits that focus on the strengths of the young mother and on her personal health, quality care giving and life course development.

Crystal and Sherene developed such a bond.

Crystal, an NFP nurse home visitor, detailed out how gang activity and high crime rates in the Yakima Valley make the Nurse-Family Partnership a critical element of the county’s continuum of services for prevention and families in need.

“NFP can help break the cycle of poverty by empowering young mothers to become knowledgeable parents who are able to care for their children and guide them along a healthy life course,” Crystal said.

Sherene, an NFP graduate, shared her personal story with committee members: spending six years in foster care, attending seven different schools and becoming a first-time mom.

“I would have been pretty lost without this program,” she told members of the committee. “Nurse-Family Partnership really gave me the opportunity to be a good parent, and then to realize that I am good at it – this gives me a proud feeling every day.”

Congratulations to both women for sharing their stories!

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