County board honors donors to WEB nursing program

A nurse from Welcome Every Baby visits a new mother and her baby.

Staff Report

Sandra Schoolfield and Jon Kechejian, who donated $18,000 in September to the Welcome Every Baby (WEB) program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, were recognized Jan. 4 by the county Board of Education.

The gift enabled four nurses to undergo training and certification in the Family Connects model at the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy in North Carolina.

“Research shows that the single best predictor of positive outcomes for children is the coping ability of significant adults,” Schoolfield and Kechejian said. “We’ve followed WEB over the past four years and have been particularly inspired by the dedication of their small staff to this personalized, post-partum home visitation program and their tireless perseverance to keep this important program funded.”

WEB began in 2001 and since becoming an SBCEO program, the WEB Nurses have visited more than 10,000 families in Santa Barbara County, serving approximately 1,000 newborns and their families annually.

In partnership with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Dignity Home Health, all families are offered a free, individualized home visit. Cottage Health System also began helping fund WEB in January 2012.

WEB nurses visit families in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, the Santa Ynez Valley, and Lompoc as early as three days after the baby is born.

The program is designed to help all newborns get off to the best possible start in life and aims to support families’ efforts to enhance maternal and child health and wellbeing.

“I’m glad I signed up for WEB,” said one mother who recently received a home visit. “I’m a first-time mom and really inexperienced. The WEB nurse gave me lots of tips and information. She also provided me with a lot of local resources.”

Another mom added, “Despite having one older child, the WEB nurse told us many new pieces of information about baby care, juggling siblings, and local resources.”

Families interested in learning more about WEB can contact Registered Nurse Traile Eastland at 805-729-1593.