U.S. Surgeon General Visits Irvington Family Development Center

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams with IFDC staff

On January 9, the Partnership was honored with a visit from U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams at the Irvington Family Development Center (IFDC). As part of the Surgeon General’s nationwide tour in search of best practices to eliminate the high rates of Black maternal and infant mortality, Dr. Adams chose to stop at the IFDC to see firsthand the tremendous impact its staff and programs have on the thousands of families they engage and support annually. Prior to his visit, the Surgeon General moderated a panel discussion on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity hosted by First Lady Tammy Murphy and University Hospital.

Dr. Adams was welcomed to the IFDC by Partnership President and CEO, Ilise Zimmerman. While there, he met with thirty women from the Partnership’s Healthy Families program, as well as our family support workers, where he learned more about the practical issues facing the women we serve. The Surgeon General listened intently as the women shared concerns about the imperative need for stable and affordable housing, child care, and community support. Following the discussion, women from the community joined the Surgeon General for a Trusted Links workshop. Trusted Links is a Newark-based Partnership initiative that trains community advocates to lead discussions about reproductive health and empower other women. The presentation focused on the health risks to Black women, Black infants, and how to best advocate for your care.

“It was an honor to meet the Surgeon General.  I appreciate this opportunity to share my story.  I am hopeful that by working together, we can make significant changes to ensure the health and safety of all women,” said Vu-An Foster, a maternal and child health advocate who attended the workshop.

Partnership President & CEO, Ilise Zimmerman, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Adams, & Estherlene Phanord, Health Educator for Trusted Links

IFDC staff were excited to share their important work aiding in the fight against racial disparities in health care with a high-ranking federal official. Through the free programs offered at the family-friendly neighborhood center, residents of Irvington and the surrounding areas are empowered to build self-sufficiency, foster family stability, and reach personal goals. The center offers one-on-one support, educational workshops, community groups, parent/child activities, employment support, information and referrals, and advocacy.

Upcoming events at the IFDC include the revival of Man Cave, a monthly discussion group for men focusing on diverse topics such as fatherhood, conflict resolution, and goal-setting, as well as an information session on the 2020 Census where Irvington residents can learn more about the importance of making sure everyone is counted in this year’s census.

To learn more about all of the events the IFDC is holding in February, download their activities calendar, here.

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