Mower County Awarded Funds To Continue "Visit" Program

December 12, 2017 07:19 PM

(ABC 6 News)- Imagine dropping a pebble in a pond.

Organizers say that's the kind of impact a program is having on children and families in greater Minnesota.


And Tuesday morning, the state agreed to help pay for it.

"Home visiting is effective, with a return on investment from three dollars to six dollars for every dollar spent" said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger.

So imagine what you could do with 393-thousand of them.

“This is the kind of investment that we need. it's preventive, it's upstream, it saves lots of money down the road" Dr. Ed Ehlinger said during a reception and media event at the Mower County Courthouse.

Mower County has been awarded a 393-thousand dollar grant to continue its “Healthy Families America” home visiting program

It’s aimed at families at risk.

"Based on early intervention prevention priorities, mainly looking at making sure the child is developmentally moving along as they should" said Lisa Kocer, Director of Mower County Health and Human Services.

“You have instincts that just come naturally when you have a baby, but then there's things that you need to learn to teach them" said Josaphine Evans, whose family has taken part in the home visit program.

“The nurses are specially trained so with this grant they also do parenting education as well" Mower county’s Lisa Kocer added.

“How to really talk about breast feeding, how about talk about stress in families, how about talking about economics and all of the things that go on in a daily life" Dr. Ed Ehlinger said, announcing the grant.

“It all goes around and it all really connects very well together” Josaphine Evans said. “And I don't think i would be as good of a mom as i am without public health nurses."

“Research shows some of the impact of home visits include lower risk pregnancies, fewer moms and kids who need child protection services, and the kids are more likely to show up in kindergarten ready to learn" Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger explained.

And what would Mowerr County like to see families get out of the program:

“To build resiliency, to build their ability to parent their child” Lisa Kocer told ABC6. “and most of all let them know how special they are."


Dan Conradt

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