Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TSU Working With Healthy Start Program to Recruit New Mothers

Tennessee State University is one of three colleges in Middle Tennessee partnering with the new Federal Healthy Start Program to make college education accessible to new mothers.

Recently, the Nashville/Davidson County Public Health Department was one of three areas across the country to be awarded The Federal Healthy Start grant totaling $750,000 a year for five years to focus on improving birth outcomes, and eliminating prenatal disparities in the north Nashville area where TSU is located.

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, of the Metro Public Health Department and TSU Assistant Professor of Nursing Pinky Noble will work to help boost the number of nurses in Middle Tennessee by recruiting individuals to the University's program.

"Statistics show that one in fifty African American babies die before his or her first birthday," said Etheridge. "We feel that this can only really be decreased by addressing the ‘big picture' which includes increasing educational opportunities and giving families the skills needed to be self sustaining."

Through the Healthy Start program nurses and outreach workers from the Health Department support new parents by providing resources, and important information about child safety, child health, disease prevention, child development and parenting skills.

"This partnership will provide an even more positive working relationship with the Health Department and highlight the importance of education," said Britton. "TSU students are already working in community hospitals; however this will offer us the opportunity to introduce the notion of obtaining a degree, become mentors and give the much needed support to those who may not be able to get help from anywhere else."

"Maybe you thought because you had a child you could no longer go to college and that is not necessarily true. TSU and Healthy Start want to reignite that interest in education.”

Recruitment will begin in January 2010

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