Vital Programs Assist Young Families When They Need It Most

Pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood are times that are filled with hope for young families. For some, these times can also be filled with worry when resources are in short supply.

Franciscan Health’s Prenatal Assistance Programs and Diaper Pantries help fill in gaps for these families, thanks to the generous support of Franciscan Health Foundation donors.

Community Health Prenatal Program Manager Doucette Alvarez says the Prenatal Assistance Program helps to address infant mortality by assisting pregnant and parenting mothers with accessing hospital and community resources including obstetrical care, health education, and emotional support.

In 2022, 943 women were provided with program services through the three Northern Indiana locations in Hammond, Crown Point and Michigan City.

Program participants are further supported with insurance navigation, infant safety and developmental education, WIC and SNAP assistance, and incentivized access to baby supplies. Additionally, the program is part of the National Diaper Bank, so those experiencing diaper insecurity can register to get free diapers monthly.

Over a 13-month period, the diaper pantries in Hammond, Crown Point and Michigan City combined to give out 184,828 diapers. This equates to 1,445 packs of diapers distributed to 509 families with 688 children in the past year.

The most recent diaper pantry opening was in March in Rensselaer. Continued support of these programs will allow Franciscan to reach even more families in our drive to lower infant mortality and provide healthy starts for children.