“Ladies That Give a Hoot” Honors Partnership Program

Ladies That Give a Hoot Award

(L to R) United Way of Greater Union County President and CEO James W. Horne Jr., Yesenia Santos, and Sarah Bilyj

On Wednesday, September 25, the United Way of Greater Union County hosted “Ladies That Give a Hoot” at the Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains. The inaugural dinner honored prominent leaders and raised funds for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) in Hudson and Union Counties. This innovative program supported by the United Way and implemented by the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey.  

The NFP is a national evidenced-based initiative with one core mission – empowering first-time moms to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their children. This unique home visitation program couples first-time, low-income mothers with registered nurses from the early stages of pregnancy to the 2nd year of a child’s life.  

Della Crews and Ilise ZImmerman

(L to R) News 12 Anchor Della Crews and PMCHNNJ President and CEO Ilise Zimmerman

News 12 New Jersey Anchor Della Crews hosted this exciting event which coincided with the NFP’s 10th anniversary in Hudson and Union Counties. Partnership President and CEO Ilse Zimmerman was the guest speaker. “We’re committed to ensuring that all women have access to safe births,” stated Ms. Zimmerman. “The Nurse-Family Partnership empowers expectant mothers with the resources and tools they need to avoid complications during pregnancy and delivery and to thrive as a family.”

It was a night of celebration as Partnership team member and registered nurse Yesenia Santos was among the evening’s six distinguished honorees. Ms. Santos joined the Partnership in 2016 as a member of the NPF team and has helped 30 families successfully graduate from the program. “I’m truly grateful to the United Way for this honor to be part of such a wonderful team of nurses and the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health. I get to do what I love most, which is being a nurse and serving my community,” said Ms. Santos.  

The evening was extra-special for the Partnership’s NFP Supervisor Sarah Bilyj who has worked on this innovative program since its inception in 2009. Ms. Bilyj,  a nurse and certified lactation counselor, has contributed significantly to the success of the program, which has engaged 800 families in Hudson and Union Counties.  

The NFP program continues to receive accolades and was recently recognized as a “bright spot” by the Department of Children and Family Service of New Jersey. Ms. Bilyj presented training protocols and best practices for new home visitation staff at the NJ Home Visitation Quarterly Supervisor’s Meeting in September.  

 The NFP program is available through the Partnership in Hudson/Union and Bergen/Passaic Counties. Learn more and get connected.  

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