NewsLink Spring 2017 - Page 5

Cecilia Sanchez is a single mom who was on her own the day her infant son’s umbilical cord fell off. That’s an event that routinely happens a week or two after birth, but Sanchez didn’t know what to do.

“I was freaking out,” said the 23-year-old single mother from Alamosa, in southern Colorado’s rural San Luis Valley.

She needed advice. But she doesn’t have a close relationship with her mother, so she called someone else: Stephanie Carino, a nurse with Valley-Wide Health Systems. Carino has counseled Sanchez through the pregnancy and after birth in weekly visits to Sanchez’s tiny apartment on the edge of town.

“It's been awesome to have somebody to help me along the way,” Sanchez said.

Carino’s visit is part of Nurse-Family Partnership, a Denver-based program that sends visiting nurses into the homes of low-income, first-time parents across the country. Sanchez said before she had her son, Jericho, she was a party girl. So her friends were surprised she volunteered for the program.

Denver-Based Visiting Nurse Program

Helps Empower First-Time Moms


Photo: Stephanie Carino, left, a nurse with Nurse Family Partnership, visits with Cecilia Sanchez and her son Jericho in Alamosa, Colorado. (Nathaniel Minor/Colorado Public Radio News)


By Andrea Dukakis and Nathaniel Minor