NewsLink Winter 2017 - Page 13

As we take stock of the new political landscape, newly elected leaders and efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we are all contemplating the future of funding for our families. With a change in administration comes uncertainty but there are also many knowns. The bipartisan support at every level of government that Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) has always maintained speaks to the great respect there is for NFP and desire in America to solve poverty.

NFP has always maintained bipartisan support and we foresee that continuing. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price expressed support of NFP during his Senate confirmation hearing. When Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., asked about a highly successful Medicaid-funded program that sends nurses to the homes of low-income, first-time mothers, Price stated: Nurse-Family Partnership "sounds like a great program" that ought to be put out there for other states to model.

The federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program provides funding for states, territories and tribal entities to implement evidence-based home visiting programs that demonstrate successful key outcomes for at-risk children and families. Because these proven models strengthen families and save money for communities, MIECHV has enjoyed strong bipartisan backing in the House and Senate. In a January op-ed in The Hill, House & Ways Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) outlined MIECHV as a priority – which he noted as an evidence-based program with positive outcomes for families.

MIECHV has expanded NFP’s reach to include over 34,000 families with more than 650,000 home visits in the last six years. And it has also expanded the overall

reach through many other

great evidence based

models to meet the needs

of individual families.

While MIECHV originally

passed as part of the

ACA, it has been

reauthorized twice

outside of the ACA,

and both of these

reauthorizations came with bipartisan support. This September, MIECHV funding will expire unless Congress acts. The National Home Visiting Coalition (of which NFP is a member), is advocating for a five-year re-authorization that gradually doubles program funding from its current level of $400 million annually to $800 million.

We at NFP will continue working hard to develop the support needed to pursue our collective goals of expanding MIECHV. And your help and support is essential! Site visit events are one of the most effective ways to gain community awareness and build support

for NFP. Site visits offer Congressional leaders the opportunity to meet with their local NFP programs

and hear directly from nurses and young moms in

their districts. These small connections in districts

make a cumulative effect in DC. Last August, our

Policy & Government Affairs team organized our first official National Site Visit Week, giving us our best ever outreach to Congressional leaders in their states and districts. Please keep doing site visits and we can assist you with these.

It is essential that we communicate our commitment to our shared mission to stand for those who need help and support to access jobs, education, early childhood services and health care. These are essential components for all children and families to thrive. We need to stay true to our values and purpose and show lawmakers why MIECHV is important to the families we serve and why it needs to be protected, reauthorized and expanded. Please join your voice with ours. Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts to take action for NFP. This is the best way for us to keep you informed and for you to help us with expert testimony or appropriate advocacy efforts.

Thank you for your commitment to our families.

MIECHV Advocacy is More Important Now than Ever

" 93% of our mothers feel they are treated with dignity and respect by their NFP nurse."

Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office

1900 Grant Street Suite 400, Denver, CO 80203

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from Roxane White