Home visits offer window into mother, infant well-being

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A visit to homes of disadvantaged mothers and at-risk newborns can provide a health care team with unique insights into how a family is faring—more than might be revealed at often rushed visits at a clinic or hospital.

This was one of the insights shared at the 7th Annual Maternal and Child Health Symposium, titled “Home Visiting: Delivering the Goods,” held November 30, 2012 in FXB G-12. The event was sponsored by Harvard School of Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health/Children, Youth, and Families Concentration.

“Going to a person’s home may be a very effective way of providing personalized care” said event organizer Marie McCormick, Sumner and Esther Feldberg Professor of Maternal and Child Health in HSPH’S Department of Society, Human Development, and Health.

Visits to homes can be eye-openers, said Deborah Allen, SM ’80, SM ’86, SD ’98, director of the Bureau of Child, Adolescent and Family Health of the Boston Public Health Commission, who moderated the symposium. “When you see families in the medical setting, the focus is on medications rather than how the treatment fits into their life.”