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​Mentoring Program for New Parents Expands Partnership with UPMC

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5/10/2018

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PITTSBURGH, May 10, 2018 – To continue providing ongoing support to new parents, UPMC has expanded its partnership with NurturePA, Inc. – a mentoring program that uses text messaging – to include both UPMC Mercy hospital and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.
 
NurturePA, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that trains volunteer mentors to support parents by using an innovative text messaging program. The web-based software connects mentors with parents and enables them to share parenting information and make referrals to community resources, all while creating a supportive relationship via texting. The information included in the program is mobile-friendly, making it easy for mentors to put parents in touch with the resources they need, when they need them.
 
“NurturePA, Inc. began providing services to UPMC Mercy patients in 2014 and our parents leave the hospital with a support system in their pocket,” said Kathy Diggans, M.S., B.S.N., R.N., C.B.C., labor and delivery unit director at UPMC Mercy. “The real beauty of this program is that it supports parents, not only during the newborn phase, but during the first three years of their baby’s life.”
 
“The transition to parenthood can be a stressful time and this type of emotional and practical support can make a significant difference for our patients and we are so pleased to expand these services to Magee” said Maribeth McLaughlin, vice president of operations, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. 
 
To enroll parents in the program, a NurturePA, Inc. manager meets with the new family during their admission at UPMC Mercy and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. If the patient decides to enroll, they are matched with a volunteer mentor who offers support and encouragement, provides information and helpful parenting resources, and suggests weekly activities that promote attachment, bonding and early literacy – all done via text messaging.
 
“Parenting can be a challenge at times and our mentors ensure that the new parents have the support they need,” said Kate Brennan, director of operations at NurturePA, Inc. “We believe that when a mother is supported, she is better able to nurture her baby, and nurtured babies are babies who thrive.”
 
NurturePA, Inc. was established in 2014 and has approximately 65 volunteer mentors who support 490 moms and their babies. For more information or to learn about volunteering with NurturePA Inc., email info@nurturepa.org.