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Happy 2nd Birthday Family Connects! Meet the Nurses…

Family Connects Texas turns 2 years old this month, and we are so excited to celebrate the women who make this work possible! In case you didn’t know, research shows that 95 percent of all families have needs after the birth of a child. These needs are unique to each family, and Family Connects bridges the gap between parents and community resources to improve family well-being.

Our nurses serve whole families in Austin/Travis County, checking in on all caregivers and the baby in the early postpartum period! We have proudly served over 1,300 families over the last 2 years through St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, and we have loved every minute of it. Don’t take it from us, take it from our team on the front line! Meet the amazing Family Connects nursing team:

Brenda Fincher, RN Senior

Why do you love Family Connects?

I know that having a baby is the most special time in your life, a time to be celebrated! Unfortunately it can also be stressful and parents can have unexpected concerns and worries! I love that Family Connects provides an opportunity to spend time with new parents and connecting with them to give them support and reassurance. I love working with the Mommies and their Babies! I know that when I have left a family and the Mommy is feeling more confident and reassured, It’s a good day for me!

Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can share?

Yes, I teach a lot of parents how to swaddle their infant. The mother would sleep sitting up holding her infant, [but after I helped] for the first time in 3 weeks the parents were able to get 2 stretches of 3 hours of sleep with the infant in the crib!

What’s a special birthday celebration you like to do?

Cake and ICE CREAM!!!

Lanna Barbaroux, RN, IBCLC

Why do you love Family Connects?

I love that we’re able to give new parents reassurance during a vulnerable time when they often have a lot of questions about their newborn’s care or mom’s own healing. Family Connects Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) can be cheerleaders and also offer additional guidance when more support is needed. 

Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can share?

I spoke with a client of another Family Connects Nurse recently who was so happy for the tips and tricks she received  – with breastfeeding and pumping, soothing her baby, and learning ways to protect and nurture her newborn’s development. This isn’t a big story, but is something we hear about on a regular basis. 

What’s a special birthday celebration you like to do?

Good food, great friends and champagne 😊

 

Kathryn Treviño, RN-BSN

Why do you love Family Connects?

Being able to support a family as they welcome a new baby into their household, and getting to see them in their home, continues to be an awesome experience! I enjoy helping families identify their strengths, reassure them on parenting skills, and support them as they form a healthy bond and attachment with their baby!

Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can share?

I remember visiting with a mom, who was solely caring for her newborn in the day, until the evening hours when others would arrive home. Upon seeing her, it was quickly noted that she was experiencing a decline in her mental health, and after weighing the baby, discovered the weight was below what it should be. The mother’s mental status was affecting her ability to care for her infant and provide the nutrients needed through breastfeeding, which was the baby’s only source of food at the time. Connecting the mother and baby to resources that day gave them support to improve their health and well-being.

What’s a special birthday celebration you like to do?

I like spending time with friends and family, relaxing, laughing and eating good food!

Omaira Hanif, BSN, BS, RN

Why do you love Family Connects?

I love that we get to take a holistic approach in helping our clients; taking into account more than just their physical health. 

Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can share?

The moments when families share that they feel reassured, supported, and less overwhelmed after receiving a visit and/or call from us. 

What’s a special birthday celebration you like to do?

Be around my family and friends, somewhere outdoors.

Bessy Matute, RN, IBCLC

Why do you love Family Connects?

I love Family Connects because in my opinion it is a unique program that was greatly needed in Texas, as Texas has one of the highest maternal mortality rates. Family Connects nurse visits through education and assessment can educate in early recognition of postpartum warning signs, and guide on a plan of action for the mother. Unlike other programs, Family Connects has a unique psychosocial approach, which aids in the family’s ability to connect and open-up to the nurse.

Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can share?

I can think of countless occasions when I truly knew we as a program had made a long-lasting impression to our client and their family. One visit I recently had was with a mother who was new to the United States and had difficulty with comprehension. Communication was crucial to make sure the education provided was understood. During the visit we were able to recognize a health concern that needed immediate attention, and I helped the client in getting medical care. The mother was able to receive the care necessary, which if she had not received the visit from a Family Connects Nurse, she might’ve not recognized the need for immediate care.

What’s a special birthday celebration you like to do?

The beach is my happy place, every year on my birthday I make it a point to go to a beach.

Hope Hunt, DNP, CNM, RN

Why do you love Family Connects?

I love Family Connects because I get to be a part of supporting families every day. I love this is a program that recognizes each and every family has unique needs after the birth of a child.

Do any moments or stories stick out from your work with families that you can share?

There are many moments I cherish but probably some of my favorite moments are watching a new mom feel encouraged and gain confidence after a visit with us.

What’s a special birthday celebration you like to do?

My daughter loves any reason to celebrate and have a party. So a birthday celebration is not complete unless there are balloons! 


For our 2nd birthday we have 2 wishes: 

  1. To celebrate our nurses who have pivoted during the pandemic to support families in ATX.
  2. And, to increase the number of eligible families served in Austin/Travis County – adding more hospitals, more nurses, and giving EVERY baby the best possible start in life! 

Learn more about all the good that Family Connects does, and support impactful programs at United Way for Greater Austin. 

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