First 5 Makes a Long-Term Impact on the Health Of Babies and Mothers in Long Beach

 Dignity Health St Mary Medical Center Foundation in Long Beach has developed a remarkable and historic relationship with First 5 – Children and Families Commission of Los Angeles County. Over the past four years, two distinct initiatives — Welcome Baby and Healthy Families America — have yielded grants totaling $5.8 million dollars.

Additionally, the Foundation and Families in Good Health (St. Mary health access program) is currently negotiating an additional $2.4 million award for FY1 16-17.

 In brief, Welcome Baby and Healthy Families America both involve in-clinic and home visitation for moms throughout their pregnancy — including pre/post birth. Additional intensive home visitations are also available for those considered at risk.

The main goal of both programs focus on increasing bonding between mother and baby. Vital focus is also given to addressing the child’s development milestones in the first year of life. St. Mary Medical Center was recently given the special distinction of being a “Baby Friendly” hospital by Baby Friendly USA — St. Mary is the only hospital in Long Beach to receive this distinction. This distinction can be directly attributed to the impact of long-term grants awarded by First 5 to create transformational change in child care and development at St. Mary Medical Center.