Founded in 1955, Care Ring is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health services for the uninsured, underinsured or those lacking access to affordable, high-quality preventive health care. The organization annually serves more than 7,600 people in Mecklenburg County and is a leader in collaborative efforts to improve community health.
Their mission is to empower individuals with limited resources to establish and maintain good health, and they envision a community that promotes, protects and improves the health and wellbeing of all people. Care Ring is a vital link in achieving this vision.
With their two pillars of service – Access to Care and Maternal Child Health – composed of five service lines, they provide an array of health and health-related services covering the entire life span, assisting neighbors living in poverty and in underserved areas to improve their quality of life.
Last year, Care Ring’s two Maternal-Child Health programs served 1,361 mothers and babies in Mecklenburg County.
Care Ring’s home visitation program, Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP), is for at-risk moms. Each mother is partnered with a caring registered nurse from pregnancy through her child’s second birthday. New mothers gain the tools to provide their child a stable home and achieve self-sufficiency. Care Ring’s specially trained nurses empower moms through evidence-based, intensive home visits. This program has three main outcomes:
• Improve maternal health
• Improve child health and development
• Improve economic self-sufficiency
In partnership with Mecklenburg County Public Health, Care Ring’s second maternal-child health program is A Guided Journey, which utilizes Community Health Workers (CHWs) to serve those in the county’s six priority health zip codes. The program provides a less intensive option for women that do not qualify for or need the long-term support of NFP, with the flexibility to serve both pregnant women and those up to 90 days post-partum. The program aims to:
• Improve health outcomes before, during and after pregnancy
• Reduce racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality and adverse perinatal outcomes
Felicia: Three days after moving to Charlotte, Felicia learned she was two and half months pregnant. She was in shock, never planning to be a mother because of having uterine fibroids. Her obstetrician referred
her to Care Ring’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program. At 19 weeks’ gestation, Felicia was prematurely dilating and had a procedure to keep her baby in the womb as long as possible. She was also placed on bed rest. Her beautiful baby girl, Willow, named after her father’s mother who passed away, was born at 30 weeks. She spent the next two and half months in the NICU before coming home and receiving early intervention services.
Guiding Felicia through her high-risk pregnancy and caring for a premature baby was Piper, her NFP nurse. Piper provided support and educational resources, helping to alleviate her new-mother anxieties, and coached her on developmental milestones to ensure Willow was flourishing. After graduation, Felicia joined our Board of Directors!