- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 14, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your Tuesday articles “Obamaplan funds nurse visits to new moms” (Page I) and “Program needs to include dads” (Culture, etc.) misrepresented the work of the Nurse-Family Partnership and other programs that help first-time parents.

While you correctly noted that our program saves money (as much as $5.70 for each dollar spent, according to the Rand Corp.), you gave the inaccurate impression that fathers are not served. However, fathers are included in our voluntary program alongside mothers and children. The results from one of the Nurse-Family Partnership clinical trials showed a 46 percent increase in fathers’ presence in the homes of families participating in our program.

Through nurse home visits, Nurse-Family Partnership provides highest-risk families the skills necessary to improve their health and make a better life for themselves and their children. This includes working with both father and mother to set goals and work toward them, whether they be continued education, careers or a strong family.

Thirty years of randomized, controlled trials show consistent, positive effects on health, child development and economic self-sufficiency that result in reductions in societal and health care costs. In fact, a follow-up study released just last week in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine confirmed that criminal activity decreases for both boys and girls through age 15, with continued reductions for girls to age 19.

The president’s plan to fund this type of program also would fund continued research to enable even greater improvements to programs like Nurse-Family Partnership.

THOMAS R. JENKINS JR.

President and chief executive

Nurse-Family Partnership

Denver

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