Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is partnering with several health organizations to offer families support in caring for a newborn.
ROC Family Connects will provide parents of newborns free telehealth visits with a registered nurse from the child’s primary care practice for the first six months of a baby’s life as a support to families in addition to their usual newborn scheduled office visits.
The service will be available for many Excellus BCBS members.
“ROC Family Connects does just that it connects parents and infants with resources to promote the child’s and family’s healthy development,” said Brian Steele, vice president of medical affairs, clinical services for Excellus BCBS. “These visits are designed to provide guidance and support to parents and connect families to community services based on individual needs and preferences.”
The nurse will provide a health check for the baby, make sure the mother is recovering after childbirth and offer information on routine infant care and child development. The nurse also will screen family-specific needs in areas of health care, breastfeeding, parenting and other issues.
Families will be enrolled at prenatal care appointments or through the baby’s primary care practice when the child is born. Most families will receive an initial visit, with up to three follow-up visits in the first six months of the baby’s life.
ROC Family Connects is a supported adaptation of the Family Connects International program, a program of Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy.
The local program is available through Excellus BCBS’ partnerships with Accountable Health Partners, Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association, Rochester Regional Health, Jordan Health and the University of Rochester Medical Center. The United Way of Greater Rochester Inc., the Children’s Agenda and Children’s Institute helped start the program.
“Adjusting to a newborn is difficult enough, but during a pandemic, families are distanced from friends and family who otherwise would have provided help and guidance,” said United Way’s Chief Impact Officer Jennifer Cathy. “Thank you to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, ESL Federal Credit Union and Konar Foundation for recognizing the importance of partnering to support moms, dads and babies. We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this unique program and health care partnership on families throughout our community.”
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