FCI Voices: The Importance of Universal Home Visiting for Newborns and Their Families

Universal Home Visiting for newborns and their families is our priority at Family Connects International. We have made it our mission to strengthen connections for families with newborns and link them directly to health and community care resources. This is made possible by our community partners across the county. But why is universal home visiting important for families and their newborns? We have asked one of the experts at Family Connects International to explain in their own words the importance of home-visiting care. In this post for our blog series “FCI Voices for Universal Newborn Care”, we will learn from our Nurse Manager and Acting Chief Nursing Officer about the benefits of home visiting for newborns and their families.

Bonnie Hepler, RN, MSW, MSPH, PhD, is our new Nurse Manager and Acting Chief Nursing Officer. Bonnie began at FCI as a Senior Nurse Trainer and was recently promoted.

Here are Bonnie’s thoughts on postpartum home visiting for families with newborns:

"Postpartum home visiting plays a crucial role in supporting families and their newborns. In fact, most high-resource countries across the globe offer some form of universal, in-home support for families with newborns. These visits are invaluable in navigating the physical, emotional, and lifestyle adjustments that come with a new baby. A caring and knowledgeable nurse can help identify and prioritize referrals in collaboration with families as well as help normalize some questions people experience postpartum. From identifying respiratory distress in infants exposed to viruses such as RSV and flu to reminding parents they are doing a great job, every family deserves to feel supported, safe, and seen during the postpartum period".
-Bonnie Hepler, RN, MSW, MSPH, PhD

FCI’s mission is made possible because of the support, dedication, and drive of both our community partners and the staff here at FCI. Bonnie is one of the many who share that commitment to newborns and families nationwide and utilizes her expertise in nursing to equip our FCI network to deliver quality care year-round.

"I am committed to ensuring that nurses in the FCI network embody excellence and equity in their clinical practice. My passion lies in ensuring that all of our nurses not only possess the knowledge to adeptly support the physiologic processes during the postpartum period but also embody a humble and supportive approach when interacting with families during home visits. It is my belief that a combination of expertise and empathetic care is pivotal in creating a positive and inclusive healthcare experience for every family. My hope is that we can provide nurses with the tools to ensure Family Connects interactions feel helpful and healing in a period that is often associated with trauma and uncertainty".
-Bonnie Hepler, RN, MSW, MSPH, PhD

Thank you, Bonnie, for this insight! Visit our website to learn how you can help ensure essential connections for equitable outcomes for every newborn and stay up to date on the strides our community partners and FCI team have made to make our mission possible.

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