December 10, 2021
We would like to express sincere gratitude to our FIT providers, who have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to serve families and children. Specifically, we’d like to thank them for their generosity in sharing their perspectives with the FIT state staff – without their insights we would not understand the changing landscapes of early intervention as well as we do.
We would also like to thank regional coordinators Hyacenth Sedillo and Sabrina Curry for so beautifully supporting our entire state as we work to build our team here at FIT.
The Family Infant Toddler (FIT) program has been working diligently to improve relationships with families by becoming more aware of certain behaviors that may contribute to inequitable outcomes. The program started this process by inviting two experts on anti-racism to its annual meeting. The program is now continuing this important work by offering a series of sessions on equity through self-reflection.
The following survey will help FIT better understand the interest and comfort level of providers to participate:
In addition to equity work, the program is interested in supporting the relationships between FIT providers and their pediatric partners. The survey linked below is also available to gather more insight into the perspectives of FIT providers. A similar survey will be sent out to local pediatricians.
November was National Native American Heritage Month. In the early childhood field, we can take an opportunity to reflect on the effects of colonizing culture and systems that have been sources of oppression for indigenous peoples. Below is a link to an article written by Dr. Joseph H. Suina, former Governor of Cochiti Pueblo, current Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Council member, Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at UNM, and Adjunct Professor at Colgate University in New York: And Then I Went to School.
FIT Program Support Team
Kathey Phoenix-Doyle – FIT Bureau Chief
Leah Davidson – FIT Program Manager
Hyacenth Sedillo – FIT Regional Coordinator (SW/SE Regions)
Sabrina Curry – FIT Regional Coordinator (Metro NE/NW Regions)
Families FIRST Program Message
Thank you to all Families FIRST staff for your ever-present hard work and continued belief in our program. The increase in caseloads, billing, and obstacles since the beginning of the pandemic has not made our jobs easy. Each day you all come to work with one goal in mind – to support our families and offer the best care and resources available to them. Your abundance of commitment to our work has not gone unnoticed, and it is with great honor and gratitude that we say thank you for all you do, Families FIRST.
Families FIRST adapted to the needs of New Mexico families by offering hybrid visiting options based on preference, including: in-office visits (subject to current public health order), televisits, visits to public venues with appropriate safety measures taken, and home visits.
- Families FIRST is excited to announce the expansion of services to Farmington, Grants, Gallup, and surrounding areas, increasing availability to indigenous families in need throughout New Mexico.
Families FIRST attempted to contact 4,307 families across New Mexico:
- 1,223 familieswere unavailable
- 541 families refused services
- 758 families enrolled in our program
- 369 families completed the full program
Families FIRST completed 626 perinatal assessments in FY21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021). Of the 194 newborns that were delivered during this time:
- 93% were born after 37 weeks
- 85% did not spend any time in NICU
- 91% did not spend more than three days in the hospital
- 90% weighed over 5½ pounds at birth
- 81% had no major complications
- 79% had a vaginal delivery
- 79% left the hospital breast and bottle feeding
- 45% left the hospital breast feeding only
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Families FIRST partnered with numerous organizations to support and educate New Mexican families in need:
- Safe Sleep to educate and promote safe sleep practices for newborns and infants.
- The Early Childhood Resource Task Force to help our families acquire diapers, wipes, sanitizer, and other essentials.
- Safer NM to distribute car seats to families in need in the Southwest Region.
- Children Are Born into Healthy Homes to help distribute 10 full bags containing items needed by families, including a $50 gift card.
- Women, Infant, and Children Program has continued to be one of Families FIRST’s biggest referral sources. We thank them for their continued support.
Families FIRST nurses assisted the New Mexico Department of Health in reaching out to New Mexico families with more than 2,250 hours in support of the ongoing battle against COVID-19.These nurses helped educate and promote awareness of symptoms, as well as the need for testing and the vaccine. They also helped administer testing.
- CONGRATULATIONS to our very own Jessica Altamirano on her recent graduation from her Nurse Practitioner Program! We are very proud of you, Jessica!
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, we would like to share important education information regarding vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Below are the links to the English and Spanish educational flyers as well as the link on additional information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html
Did you know perinatal case management improves pregnancy and infancy outcomes in conjunction with FIT and Home Visiting partnerships? Here’s how Families First can help:
- Families FIRST Program offers perinatal case management to expecting families and their children 0-3 years of age.
- Families FIRST promotes and supports well child check–ups to increase children’s health and well-being. We can connect families with healthcare providers across the state.
Families FIRST Program Support Team
Kristi Romero – Families FIRST Bureau Chief – email@example.com
Regina Sena – Families FIRST Financial Analyst Manager –
Rebecca Garcia – Medical Biller –
Kathy Brown – NW Region Coordinator –
Jocelyn PerArdua – NW Care Coordinator –
Anita Lozano- NW Care Coordinator –
Renee Vukovich –NW Care Coordinator –
Stephanie Crowder – SW Region Coordinator –
Debbie Ulibarri – SW Care Coordinator – Debbie.Ulibarri@state.nm.us
Nanette Victor – SW Care Coordinator – Nanette.Victor@state.nm.us
Cynthia Breedlove – SW Clerk – Cynthia.Breedlove@state.nm.us
Diane Gaston – SW Care Coordinator – Diane.Gaston@state.nm.us
Marisa Boppudi – SW Clerk – Marisa.Boppudi@state.nm.us
Susie Arredondo – SE Region Coordinator – Susie.Arredondo@state.nm.us
Georgina Apodaca – SE Care Coordinator/FF Tribal Liaison – Georgina.Apodaca@state.nm.us
Jessica Altamirano – SE Care Coordinator –
Betty Thompson – SE Care Coordinator – Betty.Thompson3@state.nm.us
Ester Perez – SE Care Coordinator – Ester.Perez@state.nm.us
Rebeca Renteria – SE Clerk – Rebeca.Renteria@state.nm.us
Home Visiting Program Message
The ECECD Home Visiting team is grateful to the Home Visiting workforce, the UNM Consultation team, and the UNM Data Service team for their ongoing commitment, creativity, leadership, and quality services that support 5,697 families, with 6,456 children served during the pandemic. Your flexibility and creativity in creating a telehealth system has proven to be successful! All your efforts truly make a difference in the lives and families we serve.
The Ninth Annual Home Visiting Outcomes data report will be completed in January 2022. Program accomplishments in the data reflect the outcomes of services provided to families during the COVID-19 public health emergency when direct services were provided completely through virtual means. Preliminary data has identified that many measures are at an all-time high in improving health and wellbeing outcomes for families receiving services.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved New Mexico’s waiver request to expand on its four–county Centennial Home Visiting (CHV) pilot program, which would offer Medicaid-paid home visiting services to more families across the state. CHV served 135 families in FY21 and is on track to serve 853 families in FY22.
Home Visiting Program Support Team
Lou Ann Sanchez Lovato – ECECD HV
Bureau Chief –LouAnn.SanchezLovat@state.nm.us
John Acuña – Home Visiting Manager/Monitor –
Angelica Vanchaik – Home Visiting Manager/Monitor –
Josephine “Josie” Salas – Home Visiting Manager/Monitor
Connie Garcia – Home Visiting Manager/Monitor –
The shift to telehealth and data findings suggest that New Mexico home visiting has been able to reach families and provide services with fidelity – with clients often able to engage with programs more readily if participation was available virtually. The opportunity to incorporate telehealth has given us a new and creative way to reach families and provide more access. Utilizing the hybrid model to serve families is a resource we anticipate utilizing well beyond the pandemic.
Sign up for Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) training for home visitors and supervisors, sponsored by NM ECECD. FAN training focuses on the concept of attunement through five areas of communication: Calming, Feeling, Thinking, Doing, and Reflecting. The training prepares practitioners to address parents’ concerns by matching their responses to parents’ cues observed in the moment, while the training prepares supervisors to address supervisees’ concerns by matching their responses to cues observed in the moment.
For Supervisors, upcoming Level 1 training schedule:
- 1-4 p.m. on January 12, 19, 26 and February 2, 2022
- 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 25 and February 1, 2022
For Practitioners, upcoming Level 1 training schedule:
- 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on February 14 and 15
To register for FAN Training, click here. For more information, contact Mary Nowak at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us online from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on December 17 for the second in a series of monthly Zoom sessions to provide opportunities for statewide home visitors and managers to develop strategies to support nurturing home learning environments for children birth to 5 years of age. This month’s topic will be “Supporting Developmental Parenting During Mealtime Routines.” Click here to register.
Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) online is offering enrollment in the Community Health Worker/Home Visiting Certification (CHW/HV) program. This 16-week course is completely online for the Spring 2022 semester. Space is limited! For more information, or to enroll, email Marisol Nevarez at email@example.com
Join Home Visiting and SFCC for a live informational session via Zoom at 11:30 a.m. on December 17 to learn more about the CHW/HV Program. Zoom link: https://sfcc-edu.zoom.us/j/88045302882?pwd=YlZRbjYvekxyMk5BcGw2SDlrdVljdz09.