The Meaning of Care Magazine

Fremont Health Foundation and Sixpence Partnership Provides Car Seats, Other Needs for Young Families

Published: Aug. 13, 2021

When a need is identified, conversations happen. And the result in this case is an initiative that will help young families in the Fremont community with basic needs for their newborns and toddlers.

Fremont Health Foundation and the Fremont Public Schools Sixpence program are partnering to provide car seats, safe sleeping spaces and diaper bags filled with essential newborn supplies. A total of 30 car seats, Pack ‘n Plays and diaper bags will be distributed as part of this unique collaboration.

“Methodist Fremont Health is proud to deliver so many babies to families in the Dodge County area,” said Shawn Shanahan, executive director of Fremont Health Foundation. “A concern we were hearing was that many of the families didn’t have the appropriate car seat to get their bundle of joy home safely, as well as many of the necessary essentials needed for a newborn. Sixpence was a logical partner for this initiative, knowing the great work they have already been doing in the community.”

Through the partnership, families will be able to request a car seat from Methodist Fremont Health. Sixpence staff members who are certified in car seat installation will meet with the families to ensure proper seat installation before Baby comes home.

Safe sleep is another concern. Mom, Dad and Baby all need their rest. That’s where a Pack ‘n Play can assist. The portable sleeper/bassinet can be used from birth to age 2 and creates a safe place for Baby to sleep.

Diaper bags and other essentials – like diapers, wipes, pacifiers, onesies, socks and blankets – will be part of the initiative as well.

“We are so happy to be partnering with Fremont Health Foundation on this initiative,” said Lauren Stoklasa, program coordinator for Sixpence. “We acknowledge that being a parent isn’t easy and know that some families struggle to make ends meet. They shouldn’t have to feel like they are doing this alone. We want to help our families get off to a great start, and supporting them with these simple but important tools is a great first step.”

Sixpence, which launched in the community in 2013, is a home-visiting program that serves families with the greatest need in the Fremont community. These families have children ages 3 and younger, or they’re expecting. In addition, the agency helps provide parenting guidance and connects families with community resources. Parents can learn how to support their children’s language development and how to help guide their children’s growth during their early years and beyond.

“Addressing the social determinants of health in our community is a priority for Methodist Fremont Health – because caring for our community is what we do,” Shanahan said. “We can’t do it alone, and we are so happy to have Sixpence and Fremont Public Schools joining us in this effort. We are forever grateful for a community partner that not only witnessed the gap in our community but also developed a solution.”

Families in need of these essential items can reach out to Methodist Fremont Health or Sixpence. Many families who may benefit from the program are identified by Methodist Fremont Health as part of its OB/GYN nurse navigator program. All prenatal patients meet with staff at 20-28 weeks gestation, and such needs are often identified at that time.