Welcome Family Comes to the Holyoke
Are you expecting a child in the Holyoke area?
If so, you should make an appointment with Welcome Family!
Welcome Family is a pilot program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and offers a universal one-time nurse home visit to mothers and newborns in several communities around the Massachusetts area. The Criterion–Heritage site is proud to include a Welcome Family program funded by DPH as part of the Massachusetts Home Visiting Initiative (MHVI).
The program is free to parents who have given birth to a child in the city of Holyoke, or who are residents of Holyoke but gave birth elsewhere. It does not matter if you have other children or if this is your first time, if you meet the residency requirement, you qualify! Just make sure the hospital asks if you would like a Welcome Family home visit prior to discharge.
The visit is offered up to 8 weeks postpartum, although the ideal time is 2 – 4 weeks after delivery. It is conducted by an experienced maternal and child health nurse and lasts about 90 minutes. During the visit, the nurse will assess the health of both mother and child, complete a questionnaire to help identify your needs and if they are being met, and refer you to community resources to provide added support. Most importantly, however, the nurse will answer your questions and provide helpful advice to assist you during this joyous, but also potentially challenging time for you, your baby and family. You can even invite others who are helping you to take care of your baby to attend the visit!
In addition to the initial visit, participating families also receive a follow up call 2- 3 weeks later as well as a Welcome Family gift bag with a book, diapers, rattle and other useful gifts for you and your baby.
Welcome Family is affiliated with Holyoke Medical Center and has recently started accepting referrals from the Holyoke Health Center. Your pediatrician’s office may also refer you to the program so no need to worry that it’s too late to participate.
If you are expecting and plan to give birth in, or are a resident of, Holyoke, contact the Criterion–Heritage Welcome Family Holyoke Program at 413-533-3930 to get in touch with our staff and set up your visit.
Welcome Family is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under X10MC29474 Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Grant Program with $6.8 million. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.