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Written by:  Carol McGarrahan
Date: January 1, 2011

Durham Connects, Durham County's newborn nurse-visit program — which is funded by the Duke Endowment — has expanded to cover all Durham County births. All Durham County residents who give birth in a Durham hospital are eligible. Visits are scheduled when the baby is about 3 weeks old. Nurses have visited half of the county's births since the program's launch in 2008, but the program had not previously been able to provide support to all newborns.

"This is a chance to provide all Durham parents with the early support needed after having a new baby," says Durham Connects founder Dr. Ken Dodge, who also is director of Duke University's Center for Child and Family Policy. "We believe that this early investment in families will help connect parents with the community so that they can better connect with their babies."

During the nurse home visit, nurses check the weight and measurements of newborns. Parents can ask questions and receive information about programs as well as receive a complimentary new-parent resource bag filled with literature, diapers, a baby book and a small gift for the parents. The goal of Durham Connects is to congratulate, support and connect parents to local resources.

Durham Connects is a collaborative program of the Durham County Health Department, Duke University's Center for Child and Family Policy, the Center for Child and Family Health and Duke University Health Systems. For more information, call 919-668-3279 or visit www.durhamconnects.org.



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