Newly Funded Program Helping Families

The Healthy Families America Program provides services for at-risk families.

CLOQUET, Minn.-  A 2.1 million dollar award is helping families receive in-home help with pregnancy and parenting.

The Healthy Families America Program provides services for first-time mothers, at-risk families such as parents dealing with domestic abuse, substance abuse or those dealing with mental illness.  Through the program, medical professionals visit family’ homes providing practical health services and parenting support.

“It’s working to support each other and help educate and give young parents information,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

Parents receive the in-home visits during pregnancy until the child is three years old.

“I’ve learned everything from this program and his everyday needs and even my older kids needs, it’s a wonderful program,” first-time mother Mariah Columbus said.

One member of the program, Mariah Columbus tells us there’s always something to learn and being a first-time mother it has helped her immensely.

“Everything from making cheaper toys to doing different learning things,” Columbus said.

The new mother is most surprised by her son learning sign language.

“The relationships were clear that the nurses had established with the families,” Malcolm said.

Officials tell us building health and stronger communities is not just done through the technological miracles of health care, but also human relationships.

“Just that fundamental support of human connection,” Malcolm said.

The program has shown positive impacts such as reducing child emergency room visits and the number of months spent on welfare according to the Minnesota Health Department.

“We get people going the right direction here, starting from pregnancy, through their youth, and it’s going to be a good thing and help everybody a long way,” Carlton County Commissioner Marv Bobie.

This 2.1 Million dollar award goes towards Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis County.

Over the last year in Minnesota, Minnesota has supported the planning, start-up and expansion of family home visiting programs in three tribal nations and 51 counties.


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