Thrive by IU Health

October 19, 2023

Grant funds Family Wellness Series in east central Indiana 

IU Health Jay Hospital

Grant funds Family Wellness Series in east central Indiana 

An $18,550 grant from Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) will build on a successful infant and maternal health program at Indiana University Health Jay Hospital by adding family and community wellness programs.

Since 2020, IU Health Jay Hospital has hosted Healthy Beginnings, a comprehensive women's health program that focuses on access to care and improving maternal/infant health outcomes through care coordination, outpatient services and community collaboration. “Navigators” engage pregnant women during their first trimester and continue serving them through the first year of a baby’s life. They educate patients about safe sleep practices, the importance of breastfeeding, maternal and infant warning signs, and birth spacing, and they attend appointments with clients and connect them to community resources that address social determinants of health. IU Health Jay started the Healthy Beginnings program following the difficult decision to discontinue labor and delivery services there. Healthy Beginnings ensures that families in Jay and Blackford counties can continue to access ongoing pre- and post-natal care.

The new grant will support the Healthy Beginnings Family Wellness Series, which will offer outreach and engagement events to connect pregnant and newly parenting families to each other and to healthcare and social service resources. Participants will receive education and materials on topics like safe sleep education, breastfeeding, and family planning, and they will be directed to resources to promote safety, mental health and physical wellness.

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished through Healthy Beginnings, and I look forward to doing even more for babies, new moms and entire families,” said Healthy Beginnings program director Julie Teeter. “This wellness series will offer practical information, but it will also help new mothers who otherwise might feel isolated and unsure of themselves.”  

Proposed Wellness Series events include:  

  • Community Baby Showers 
  • Barbecuing with Dads 
  • Maternal Mental Health Retreats 
  • Safe Sitter and Community CPR Classes 
  • Family Wellness: Summer Park Series 
  • Car Seat Fitting Events 

“The wellness series will build on the work the Healthy Beginnings team is doing to bring comprehensive women’s health, maternity and infant health services to Jay and Blackford Counties,” said Cassandra Tice, Grants Director at IU Health Foundation. “We’re grateful to IDOH for supporting this important effort.” 

To support the healthcare priorities important to you, contact IU Health Foundation’s regional philanthropy directors.