A three-pronged effort is like a three-legged stool. It takes all three legs to make a concerted effort to mitigate a problem.

When PeaceHealth / St. John first brought to the attention of The Health Care Foundation the problem of newborn drug-affected babies and their drug-affected moms being separated at birth, we were aghast. Babies need their mothers, and mothers need to be where they can emotionally bond with and nourish their babies. These babies, deemed fragile, were immediately transported to a special nursery at PeaceHealth SW Medical Center in Vancouver. Any mom facing a life change and wanting to bond with her baby faced a daunting task of daily getting to Vancouver to provide the mothering her newborn needed. And the infant might be in the specialized unit for as long as three to five weeks.

PeaceHealth / St.John saw the challenge in this protocol and approached us, The Health Care Foundation, to rectify it. Much discussion, many meetings and considerable planning sessions later, it was determined that LINK with its already in-place Home Visitor Program would be a natural partner for the Child / Community Health Worker Program.

The Health Care Foundation was created out of the closure of the former Monticello Medical Center.The goal of The Health Care Foundation is in our mission statement “to promote the physicaland mentalhealth and health care of the people living within the service area of the longview,Washington acute care hospital.”

We saw how the plan formulated over many years and brought to us by PH/SJ and LINK fit in exactly with our goals. We are delighted that 30 years after the closing of MMC, we can grant $242,000 to PH/SJ Foundation to further ensure a safe beginning for these infants and their mothers. In fact, the way the program is designed, any health care provider can call link to connect a pregnant woman with needed services before the baby is born.

Thank you PeaceHealth/St. Johns and LINK for including The Health Care Foundation in the opportunity to collaborate with you as we jointly work to solve this problem.

Applications for our next funding cycle will be available soon with a deadline of Jan. 31. Contact Executive Director Mary Jane Melink at 360-423-3591 for more information.

Judy Bailey, vice president

Health Care Foundation