United in Health
Resources for Developing Minds
The United Way of Acadiana has partnered with Ochsner and Our Lady of Lourdes hospitals to launch a new program aimed at promoting early childhood development in the Acadiana region. The program, called “Resources for Developing Minds,” provides resources to every new parent in the region to support healthy brain development and early learning for their child.
As part of the program, each hospital will provide a Resources for Developing Minds bag to every new baby born at their facility. The bag contains age-appropriate books, toys, and other educational materials that are designed to promote positive parent-child interactions, encourage early literacy and language development, and provide families with resources to support their child’s growth and development.
In addition to the materials included in the bag, new parents are also asked to watch a video on early brain development for their baby and complete a survey for data purposes. This information will be used to evaluate the program and make improvements to better serve the community.
Bright by Text
Parents who opt in for ongoing support will also receive Bright By Text messages, a mobile messaging program designed to support parents and caregivers in promoting early childhood development. The program sends free, research-based tips and activities to parents and caregivers with children aged 0-8 years old. The messages are designed to be easily digestible, actionable, and fun, and cover a wide range of topics related to child development.
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The goal of the Resources for Developing Minds program is to improve outcomes for young children in the Acadiana region by providing families with the knowledge and resources they need to support healthy brain development and early learning. By partnering with local hospitals and community organizations, the program aims to reach every new parent in the region and provide them with the support they need to give their child the best possible start in life.
“As the largest birthing facility in the region, we are thrilled to partner with United Way of Acadiana on this essential program. Resources for Developing Minds is a toolkit for parents to use in their child’s earliest learning moments and it aims to support healthy brain development and early learning for every child, ensuring a brighter future for our community. Through this partnership, we are reinforcing our commitment to our youngest patients and empowering parents with the knowledge and materials they need to create a nurturing environment at home,” said Al Patin, CEO, Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center.
“Our Lady of Lourdes is honored to collaborate with United Way and other Acadiana health care professionals and non-profits on this long-term commitment to early brain development. We are excited to help bring our community together for healthier children. Research shows that 80 percent of brain growth happens within the first three years of life. That’s exactly where we need to focus our efforts to make an even greater and lasting impact on today’s little ones. Our patient care teams are ready and enthusiastic to help make Acadiana better for future generations,” said Donna Landry, COO, Our Lady of Lourdes Health.
At United Way we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to thrive, and the Resources for Developing Minds bags are designed to support their early brain development. In addition to teaching parents how to care for their newborn while in the hospital, our aim is to educate them on the importance of activities such as talking, singing, playing, reading, and pointing to things in their environment, which can further aid in their child’s brain development. CEO and President Heather Blanchard states, “Parenting is not an easy job, and we are so grateful for the investment both hospitals have made to support new families. From the start, we are connecting parents with information on early brain development for their child as well as vital resources when they are needed.”
Every child should have an equal opportunity to thrive, and the Resources for Developing Minds bags are designed to support their early brain development. In addition to teaching parents how to care for their newborn while in the hospital, our aim is to educate them on the importance of activities such as talking, singing, playing, reading, and pointing to things in their environment, which can further aid in their child’s brain development.
Click the button below to watch a quick video on what build’s your child’s brain!
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