Jackie Lambert and Robert Love have two very different tasks with one common goal – to strengthen the health and well-being of Delta families.
Under the umbrella of the Delta Health Alliance’s Delta Home Visiting Initiative, Lambert and Love, respectively, work with new mothers and fathers to help ensure that their children have the best opportunities for a healthy and successful life.
“By adding these two new staff members, we are creating a more robust and well-rounded program to better serve the needs of the entire family,” said Melanie Williams, DHA’s Associate Vice President of Home Visiting Initiatives. “Each of them brings unique experiences and expertise that will have a real impact on our residents.”
Jackie Lambert, a native of Pace, Miss., is a Certified Lactation Counselor, Certified Childbirth Educator, and a Loss and Bereavement Doula. She has 15 years of experience working with expectant families in the Delta by educating and supporting their infant feeding decisions.
Breastfeeding leads to healthy mothers, babies, and family outcomes. So, our work also encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of infant feeding,” Lambert said.
Through the Home Visiting Initiative, Lambert hopes to increase breastfeeding rates in the Delta, “but I also hope to improve support and education in lactation with these programs,” she said.
The goal of the Delta Home Visiting Initiative — and its Healthy Start Collaborative in Leflore, Holmes and Humphreys counties; Delta Parents As Teachers program in Sunflower County; the Medicaid Healthy Pregnancy program in 10 Delta Counties; and the Deer Creek Promise Community’s Parents As Teachers program in Washington County — is six-fold:
(1) To improve women’s health
(2) To promote quality perinatal services
(3) To strengthen family resilience
(4) To increase parent resources
(5) To achieve a collective impact in health, wellness, and education programs
(6) To improve school readiness
Like Lambert, Robert Love, sees the initiative as an opportunity to provide more support and guidance for fathers. “What I hope to achieve is reaching as many fathers as possible and guiding them through the processes of becoming good fathers and good citizens of the community,” said Love. “I hope to inspire the fathers to be more active in the lives of their children and for some to look into marrying the mothers of their children.”
Love’s experiences in Indianola have allowed him to develop the know-how to work with young men in the Delta. He has started several important programs including Sanctified Overachieving Newborn Soldiers (SONS), a mentoring program that teaches basic life skills such as car repair and maintenance, cooking, and cutting hair. He also began a program centered around identifying the skills and opportunities to help improve the finances of young men. “My experience will improve the lives of Delta families by letting the fathers know that they, too, are important to the family and are welcome to participate in the lives of the children,” said Lambert.
Together, Lambert and Love will help fortify DHA’s ongoing efforts to ensure that Delta families have the resources and guidance they need to live successful lives and provide healthy futures for their children.
“It’s a team collaboration with all of us working together to have a real impact,” said Lambert. “Support and encouragement are key components and I’m excited for the challenges that lie ahead.”