Building a Healthy Family

“A young, first-time mom gains an important ally in the transition to parenthood and self sufficiency” 

When 21-year-old Regina gave birth to her son, Brandon, in August 2008, she felt the joy and the anxiety common to first-time moms everywhere. An added worry was the fact that her husband, Nicholas, a specialist in the U.S. Army, would be deployed for an overseas assignment when Brandon was only 2 months old.  On top of it all, Regina lost her job as a hospital housekeeper. It was a tough time. 

But Regina had a very special person to help her make the transition to parenthood and self-sufficiency. Linda Kennon, a Family Support Worker for VNA Health Group’s Healthy Families Program, was there to provide support when Regina needed it most. An East Orange resident, Regina had learned about Healthy Families from the social worker at Newark’s Beth Israel Medical Center where Brandon was born. She enrolled in the voluntary program two months after his birth. 

Based at the VNA Health Group office in Newark, Linda will continue to make regular home visits to follow the progress of mother and child until Brandon turns 3 years old. She has helped Regina develop good parenting skills, set personal objectives and make the most of her potential. Linda encouraged her to seek a job that fulfilled her desire to help others. 

Regina has always dreamed of being a nurse. Linda suggested the option of becoming a certified home health aide as a way to take a first step into the world of health care. Regina completed the course with flying colors and was hired by VNA Health Group in December 2010. She provides care for patients living in Irvington, Newark and Maplewood. Brandon stays with Regina’s mother while his mom is at work. “I’m very proud of her,” says Linda. “Regina set her goals and she met them.” 

As she pursues her own career options, Regina is also focused on her role as a parent. She turns to Linda with her questions and concerns. “The group meetings and Linda’s weekly visits have helped me achieve my ambitions,” says Regina, “and, most important, be a better mother to Brandon.”

To learn more about how VNA Health Group can assist with the needs of you or your loved ones, click here or call us at 800-862-3330.

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