Nurse-Family Partnership

By Stephanie Humbert, Division Manager, Nurse-Family Partnership, Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, City of Houston
May 28, 2020

The Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) is an evidence-based, community health program that serves women who are receiving a state service such as Pregnancy Medicaid or WIC (Women, Infant and Children program) and are pregnant with their first child. Each vulnerable new mom is partnered with an experienced Bachelor’s prepared registered nurse by no later than the end of 28 weeks gestation in her pregnancy and receives ongoing nurse home visits until the child’s second birthday.

Nurse-Family Partnership is a life-transforming partnership for the mother, her child and oftentimes, the entire family unit over the course of the 2-year enrollment period. The clients and the communities in which they live become stronger while saving money at the state, local and federal levels. 

The goals of the program are to:

  1. Improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices, including thorough prenatal care from their healthcare providers, improving their diets, and reducing their use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal substances;
  2. Improve child health and development by helping parents provide responsible and competent care; and
  3. Improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family by helping parents develop a vision for their own future, plan future pregnancies, and continue their education and find work.

The program has been operational in Houston since 2008 amongst three entities including City of Houston, Texas Children’s Health Plan, and Baylor Teen Health Clinic.

The exponential potential of how Nurse-Family Partnership can impact lives is embodied in the humble yet exceptionally inspiring work of Stephanie Humbert, Division Manager for Nurse-Family Partnership at the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center in the City of Houston: 

Stephanie has an extremely impressive track record with an associate and bachelor’s degree in nursing, research accolades, and a MBA. However, she declares with certainty that nothing in her life has compared to the joy she feels working for Nurse-Family Partnership as both a nurse home visitor and now NFP supervisor. When she reflects on why she loves NFP and getting to care for women from an intimate care but also public health perspective, she is reminded of her maternal grandmother. 

“I am who I am in large part because of my maternal grandmother who raised me,” says Stephanie. Because of her grandmother’s unfettered love and attention, Stephanie didn’t know it at the time but her grandmother was juggling a job as a cook with less than a 9th grade education, receiving state services including Medicaid and food stamps, and enduring a verbally and physically abusive relationship. With undying strength and perseverance, Stephanie’s grandmother endured stigma in circumstances that were set against her and provided for her loved ones. She continues to inspire Stephanie today. 

“Striving, surviving, burdened by their circumstances — many of the families that NFP serve remind me of her so much. NFP is the force that awakens what these families have inside and realize via the relationship they create with their nurse home visitor, how to be the very best parent they can be! The mothers go on to teach their babies, and those go on to teach their babies, and ultimately it’s these seemingly small seeds planted that grow into the most fruitful outcomes.” This is why Stephanie fell in love with NFP and why she continues to love it every single day. 

Beyond Nurse-Family Partnership, Stephanie remains an advocate for maternal health because “it is the right thing to do. Maternal health is truly an indicator of our society’s health as a whole and it deserves such attention.” She believes it is the single most effective way to ensure a healthier future generation. 

She wants to draw specific attention to the disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality rates that face African American women and women over age 35. “In Texas, unfortunately I don’t think the state legislators really understand the lack of access particular women face. There is still work to be done to achieve comprehensive and accessible care.” 

Getting to speak with her, to watch her eyes truly light up with warmth when talking about her work, was an absolute privilege. Very rarely in life do we wander upon people with passion so strong it is contagious. Her patients and her peers adore her. She is but one of the inspiring people who work for Nurse-Family Partnership. Stephanie believes that NFP is “a hidden gem that more women wish they had heard about when they were going through their first pregnancy.” 

For more information about the program, see Nurse-Family Partnership or to refer a new mother see the guidelines below. 

Nurse-Family Partnership qualifications for new enrollments are:

First time mom/no previous live births and losses within the first 28 days
Less than 29 weeks gestation (latest to enroll is 28 weeks, 6 days)
Meet the income requirements (receiving a state service such as Medicaid or WIC)
Live in an area where Nurse-Family Partnership is available

How can I refer a new pregnant woman to the program?

1) Complete a referral form and send by fax or email
2) Provide potential client with our contact number
3) Contact the Texas Outreach & Referral Nurse-Family Partnership at 346.201.3730 or via email
4) Contact any of the local programs listed below:
Houston Department of Health and Human Services (713) 742 1716
Nurse-Family Partnership at Baylor Teen Health Clinics (713) 876 5652
Texas Children’s Health Plan (832) 828-1274