Source Newsroom: Exempla Healthcare
Newswise — DENVER — (March 22, 2013) – Boot Camp for New Dads, a program offered by the three Exempla hospitals in Colorado, has been named a 2012 Program of Excellence as part of the Hospital Charitable Service Awards, a national program sponsored by Jackson Healthcare, which recognizes programs demonstrating sustainable community impact.
The program was one of 10 selected from a national pool of 191 nominees. Award recipients were announced at a banquet in Atlanta on Feb. 13, 2013, and received $10,000 to continue their service in their community. The award was accepted on behalf of SCL Health System and Exempla Healthcare by Sandy Mortensen, System Director of Community Benefit.
“I always thought dads were secondary in importance – but now I realize that’s only the case if they want it to be,” said a new father, after participating in Boot Camp for New Dads. Another dad said the Boot Camp impacted his fatherhood experience because, “I wasn’t afraid of the baby. I just jumped in.”
Boot Camp for New Dads is specifically designed to reach first-time expectant fathers, when motivation and interest are greatest and the opportunity to change is high. It provides education about bonding with and caring for newborns, what to expect once the baby comes home, and how to form a parenting team with the baby’s mother. Since it began at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in 1997, more than 10,000 fathers have completed the program. It expanded to Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in 1998, and to Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in 2005, and has been replicated at more than 160 health facilities in the country.
“Nationally, about 40 percent of America’s children will go to bed tonight in a home without a natural father,” says Chuck Ault, Program Director. “Fifteen years ago, our inner-city hospital realized that we were in the unique position of having access to men just before they became fathers. When a father is involved in his child’s life from birth, the likelihood of neglect and abuse is greatly diminished, and the chances for healthy development are increased.”
Boot Camp is a one-time, three-hour workshop. Along with a facilitator, the program is taught by veteran dads who completed the workshop and bring their two- to three-month-old infants to help teach parenting skills to the rookie dads. This gives the rookies experience holding and comforting babies, feeding or diapering them as needed – sometimes for the first time.
Boot Camp for New Dads Program Wins National Charitable Services Award
“Hospitals in the U.S. are doing amazing charitable work,” said Charles R. Evans, FACHE, who serves as chairman of the awards program. “Boot Camp for New Dads is a bright light, within the hospital community, of programs that give back in impactful ways.” Jackson Healthcare instituted the Hospital Charitable Service Awards in 2010 to identify leading community health service programs, share their stories and make them role models for other programs. Through the awards program, Jackson Healthcare also cultivates a community of hospital professionals wanting to encourage and learn from one another.
Each nominee had to demonstrate excellence in the following five criteria areas: community impact, innovation, collaboration, transferability and leading practice. Boot Camp for New Dads will be featured in an eBook that Jackson Healthcare will publish later this month.
About Exempla Healthcare
Exempla Healthcare was formed in 1998 and has two members, SCL Health System and Community First Foundation. Exempla serves metropolitan Denver through its three hospitals – Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, and Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital – and the Exempla Physician Network of primary care, occupational medicine and specialty physicians. Exempla is dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities it serves. For more information, visit www.exempla.org/.
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