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Cooperative Hosts Conference: 'Complexities in Providing Care: Making Space for All'

Sun Newspapers - Burlington County - May 30, 2023

No ‘one size fits all’

May 30, 2023


For new mothers caring for an infant, or a woman expecting a baby, there can be anxious moments and obstacles to overcome.

The Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative (SNJPC) can help. The organization services families in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

“Our mission is to improve maternal and child health in seven counties,” said Dana Boyd, communications manager for SNJPC.

The organization’s presentation for nursing students and health-care professionals, Complexities in Providing Care: Making Space for All – Compassionate Connections and Support for Every Patient Journey, was held at Rowan College at Burlington County in Mouth Laurel on May 23.

The goal of the day-long, in-person event was to raise awareness and bring attention to today’s multifaceted and nuanced patient needs. Nearly 100 people attended.

Executive Director Helen Hannigan said SNJPC offers services to women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant.

“Their health during and prior to pregnancy is so important,” she said.

SNJPC staffers for the seven South Jersey counties advise women to eat well, avoid smoking and take care of themselves.

“Nurses will visit the family when the baby is born and provide support and education,” Hannigan noted.

If there are any problems with mental health or substance use, referrals will be made for families through Connecting New Jersey.

“We are a nonprofit, state-licensed maternal child health consortium,” explained SNJPC’s Boyd, adding that the organization’s funding comes from state and federal grants and that it continues to expand its programs and services. There are three consortiums statewide, with the other two covering North and Central Jersey.

“This conference is an opportunity for our staff and health-care professionals to learn and share together,” Hannigan noted.

Materials at the information tables were distributed to a target audience that included nurses, doctors, advanced practice nurses, social workers, addiction counselors, community-health workers and law enforcement in the region, an effort to promote optimal, equitable care for patients with complex needs.

“We know every patient journey is distinctly different, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to care,” Hannigan said.

“As clinicians, we know we are better professionals and caregivers when we have a more thorough understanding of the lived experiences of our patients, so we can shape better and more effective outcomes,” said Jennie Sherlock-Loeb, SNJPC’s director of clinical and professional education and organizer of the presentation.

“This is a great multi- disciplinary team,” she added. “We are bringing education to health care professionals, students and the general public community.”

The conference featured the following presentations:

· Antiracist Addiction Treatment – Harm Reduction and Decriminalization.

· Human Trafficking: Stakeholder Collaboration to Uncover the Why.

· Termination of Pregnancy for Medical Reasons: A Unique Grief.

· Self-Care, Wellness and Resilience: Being Prepared for 21st-Century Challenges.

“These are vitally important topics of discussion, and there are real-world implications for those who identify as patient or victim in our dynamic environment,” Hannigan pointed out.

“These learning opportunities help our professional partners keep pace with fast-moving societal changes and the impact on our population.”

For information, visit or call its office (856) 665-6000.

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