New to Indianapolis, Denise Chittum sought prenatal care at Eskenazi Health, where she was identified as a candidate for and then referred to Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership. As a first-time mother, Denise jumped at the opportunity to have a registered nurse help her prepare for the arrival of her son.
Her nurse, Amy Hutcheson, had only met with Denise a few times before complications led Denise to deliver her son at only 28 weeks. She and her husband, Daniel, were nervous about how to care for their son, Devin, but found knowledge and assurance from Amy.
Amy visited Denise and her family while Devin was in the NICU for several weeks to help educate Denise and her husband on what to expect when they brought their baby boy home. She helped Denise and Daniel understand developmental milestone for their son and offered resources for daily care.
“Amy really helped me understand Devin’s growth and development,” Denise said. “She showed me what to watch for, how to measure his size and weight, and taught me activities to do with him to help him improve. She also helped me understand the appropriate medicines for him, how much to give and when.”
As Devin grew, Denise worked with Amy to teach him sign language to communicate before he could speak. She also learned to make homemade baby food to improve Devin’s nutrition.
“Being in Nurse-Family Partnership really changed my life,” Denise said. “I’m a better parent today because I’m not guessing as much. I know how to care for Devin if he has an accident, how to provide comfort and what symptoms to look for.”
Because of Devin’s early arrival, Denise chose not to work after Devin came home from the hospital. That was until her husband lost his job a year later.
Denise involvement with Nurse-Family Partnership provided her many resources, because of the dual-approach with Goodwill. So when her family’s economic security changed, Denise knew to call on Goodwill’s TalentSource team – experts in preparing and placing qualified candidates in jobs – to help her and Daniel improve their resumes and interview skills.
“They really helped me assess my skills and identify what would be a good fit for me,” she said.
TalentSource suggested Denise apply for a position with one of its employment partners, which just happened to be Eskenazi. Denise was hired as an administrative assistant in their communications department, where she works today.
Now employed and raising a happy, healthy son, the couple credits the Eskenazi-Goodwill partnership for much of their success. To give back, Denise joined Goodwill’s NFP Community Advisory Board and now works alongside Goodwill and Eskenazi leaders to share her insights into how they can better serve first-time, low-income mothers through the program.
Learn more about Nurse-Family Partnership.