Nurse-family partnership involving Douglas County wins award for innovationA 12-county effort that included Douglas County has been honored for exhibiting excellence and innovation.
A 12-county effort that included Douglas County has been honored for exhibiting excellence and innovation.
The Association of Minnesota Counties presented the award – one of three county projects – at its annual conference earlier this month in Minneapolis.
The project involving Douglas County is “Supporting Hands Nurse-Family Partnership.” It also includes the counties of Big Stone, Grant, McLeod, Meeker, Pipestone, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Stevens, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.
The public health departments in those counties joined together to implement the project.
Conceived by Dr. David Olds in the 1970s, the nurse-family partnership is an evidence-based program that has shown a 48 percent reduction in child abuse and neglect by improving the health and life-course of low-income, first-time mothers and their children.
Combining their efforts into a single initiative, the 12 counties created a joint powers board to administer and govern this collaborative effort.
A steering committee comprised of all public health directors, meets monthly to assure continued program integrity and support. McLeod County provides fiscal management, and provides an insurance and benefit package for NFP employees, and issues payroll.
Redwood County does billing of health plans, houses the clinical information system and provides central intake for data.
Project staff are currently housed in Douglas, Meeker, Redwood, Renville and Stevens counties.
Recently, the joint powers board also organized a nonprofit corporation to aid in fund raising efforts.
More than 90 families have been served since 2008 with promising outcomes, according to public health leaders. They said the program is changing the trajectory of the lives of women and children.