Just in time for the cool weather, babies in the Catholic Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership program received cozy gifts of new crocheted hats, booties and blankets thanks to the handy work of a participant at the Living Independently for Elders (LIFE) program.

With her day open due to COVID-19 related closures, Phyllis Ernle handmade these gifts and wanted to ensure that they stayed in the Catholic Health family of services. She said her hobby is “calming and a distraction from chronic pain.”

Normally, Phyllis, would have spent much of her day socializing and likely knitting with friends at the LIFE center on the Villa Maria Campus day program in Cheektowaga. But with the arrival of COVID-19, program participants were unable to visit the facility or participate in its day program in the same manner as they had prior to the pandemic.

Those enrolled in the LIFE program are at an elevated risk of medical complications due to age or underlying medical conditions, so meeting in person has been a challenge. While the day-to-day may have changed, the program continues to coordinate healthcare services for participants like Phyllis.

Supporting Moms & Babies Throughout WNY

Better still, her crafty work will go to good use, supporting families in Catholic Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP).

“Nurse-Family Partnership always needs baby garments and we are very grateful for these beautiful gifts made with heart by Phyllis,” said Daynell Rowell-Stephens, MS, RN, NFP Supervisor.

Through NFP, new moms with limited resources are paired with nurses throughout their pregnancy and until their child’s second birthday. The specially trained nurses visit with the mothers weekly to provide important healthy mom and baby education. As a mother-to-be, participants get the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy while developing a close relationship with a nurse who they can rely on for advice and access to community services.

kehlsey vega and baby

Kehlsey Vega and Baby Marcus Hampton snuggle up with handmade gifts from Phyllis Ernle

Kehlsey and marcus

Kehlsey Vega, Baby Marcus, and NFP Nurse, Danielle Garguiolo, BSN, RN

Learn More About Programs in Your Area

Thank you to Phyllis Ernle for reaching out and wanting to help others! Seeing these two Catholic Health services supporting one another is a perfect example of how we work together to care for all those in need.

To learn more about the LIFE or NFP programs detailed in the article, please give us a call at the numbers listed below. Our representatives would be happy to give you more information regarding eligibility and enrollment.

  • Nurse-Family Partnership: (716) 706-2482
  • LIFE Program (with locations in Cheektowaga and Lackawanna): (716) 819-5433