Mesa County's Nurse-Family Partnership hosts reunion picnic

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The Nurse-Family Partnership is a national program that pairs nurses and first time moms in lower income families. Today Mesa County celebrated 14 successful years. Nurses and families gathered to enjoy good food, a baby clothing exchange, and free family photos.

"Today is really special for all of us because this allows all of our moms either from past or our current case loads to get together. All of us can share in that camaraderie which is the basis of what we're trying to do. We want to provide support and community," said registered nurse Caileen Smith.

The primary goals of the program are the birth of a healthy baby, promoting growth and development of the child, and empowering mothers to make the life they want. Nurses provide resources as well as support for the mothers.

"When you go see your doctor you get 10 or 15 minutes at most. Having a nurse come to your house and visit with you for an hour and bring you information and materials about what you're going through at that moment is just priceless," said Alexandria Cooper, a client.

The program has 12 full time nurses who each carry a caseload of 25 moms. Pairs are made before the mother gives birth, and nurses make visits until the child is two years old.

Those interested can contact the Mesa County Health Department at (970) 254-4100 or visit