OSSINING, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 9, 2017) - Open Door Family Medical Center, a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center and pioneer in the field of community-based primary medical care, has announced a partnership with The Baby Box Co. to reduce infant mortality. Open Door will provide the popular "Baby Box" to pregnant women receiving obstetrical care and prenatal education in one of its five medical offices in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Open Door provides quality health care to low-income patients, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status -- serving more than 51,000 people each year and delivering more than 450 newborns. The initiative marks a significant milestone, as Open Door is the first Federally Qualified Health Center in New York State to offer the Baby Box. First originating in the 1930's in Finland, where every pregnant mother to this day is entitled to a box that doubles as a bassinet and is filled with supplies for the newborn, the Baby Box phenomenon has spread in recent years to the United States.
Open Door's Baby Box is designed to serve as a starter kit for newborns, offering a box filled with essential supplies for new mothers who might otherwise struggle to purchase the basics. The Open Door Baby Box includes a sleep sack, onesies, socks, mittens, a newborn cap, baby toy, organic burp cloth, tote bag, terry cloth bib, washcloths, hygiene kit, baby book and seasonal clothes. The box itself includes a mattress and cotton sheet and can be used as a baby crib or bassinet for newborns up to 5 to 6 months old, or weighing up to 15 pounds.
The Open Door's commitment to new mothers goes beyond material supplies and extends to support services and newborn education. Expectant mothers have a dedicated patient advocate, a "liaison," who provides information, education and support services including guidance about nutrition and wellness, advice on coping with stress, assistance in monitoring medications, access to benefits and insurance and help with financial planning.
As part of the Baby Box experience, new online resources are now available in English and Spanish about newborn safety and parenting skills to ensure new parents have essential information before bringing their new baby home. With an emphasis on reducing newborn deaths in Westchester and Putnam Counties, Open Door is striving to give families the tools and resources they need for a healthy, safe home environment. According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths.
The use of Baby Boxes has been credited with helping Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. The initiative, which enables every expecting woman in the country to claim a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional, is credited with helping to decrease Finland's infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 1.3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013, according to the World Health Organization.
Andrew Swidersky M.D., Pediatrician at Open Door Family Medical Centers, commented, "The Open Door Baby Box experience enhances our ability to deliver vital education on topics including safe sleep for newborns. It's a unique opportunity to offer patient care and patient advocacy in a way that really resonates with expectant mothers."
The Open Door Baby Box Experience also includes valuable postnatal services, such as Open Door Wellness classes (including fitness and nutrition) along with video instruction in healthy cooking techniques based on Federally approved "WIC" (Women, Infants and Children) ingredients, for which vouchers are available. The majority of Open Door patients live at or below the Federal poverty line, earning less than $24,300 per year for a family of four. Further information about the Open Door Baby Box experience, including volunteer opportunities and other ways to offer support, is available at www.opendoormedical.org
About Open Door Family Medical Centers and Foundation
Open Door Family Medical Centers provides healthcare and wellness services to individuals and families in need throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties in New York. A pioneer in the field of Federally Qualified Health Centers, Open Door serves more than 51,000 individual patients who might not otherwise have access to quality healthcare. Open Door offers integrated services that take a holistic approach to building healthier communities, including primary care, dental, behavioral health, women's health, and chronic disease management, as well as wellness and nutritional services. Over 45 years, Open Door has developed a proven model of cost-effective healthcare care for patients in need that benefits the entire community. Open Door operates centers in Brewster, Mt. Kisco, Ossining, Port Chester, and Sleepy Hollow, New York, in addition to six school-based health centers. Open Door is accredited by the Joint Commission and achieves clinical results that consistently surpass national benchmarks for patient outcomes. Learn more by calling Amy Wolfson, Chief External Relations Officer (914) 502-1416 or online at www.opendoormedical.org.