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Another Outstanding Report Card for Healthy Families Loudoun

STERLING, VA (February 21, 2022): INMED USA’s Healthy Families Loudoun continues to be a top Healthy Families Virginia (HFV) programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, according to a recent quality assurance assessment.

Healthy Families Loudoun is a three-year child abuse and neglect prevention program that helps at-risk, first-time parents build a foundation for self-reliant families and raise children who enter school ready to learn and succeed. The program includes intensive case management, regular home visits, parent education classes and support groups, access to critical resources and mentorship. INMED USA has facilitated the program for 24 years, improving the lives of thousands of families throughout Loudoun County.

The evaluation, conducted by a representative of HFV and Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, examined family files, supervision documentation, training records and outcomes for healthy births, well-baby care and parenting skills development. In addition, group discussions were conducted with home visitors, assessment workers, program management, and a host agency representative, as well as a home visit of a participating family.

“The INMED Healthy Families Loudoun team is a group of highly professional, competent and committed individuals, each determined to give their all in serving families and maintaining a culture of excellence,” said Hope Schutte, who conducted the independent assessment.

The team and participating families achieved a 100% success rate for babies having medical providers and up-to-date immunizations and a 90% success rate for well-baby visits. The HFL team also scored high marks for expanding access to vital resources for struggling families.

Thanks to INMED US Programs Director Jennifer Lassiter Smith’s outstanding program development and community collaboration skills, “the resources available to HFL parents and community members at large have also grown significantly since last year—from diapers and non-perishable food distributions, to personal hygiene items, baby strollers, perishable as well as non-perishable food distributions, free refurbished and new computers, and even rental assistance for ‘non-traditional’ renters, such as families with no signed lease,” noted Schutte.

Through a partnership with Inova Cares Clinic for Women, at-risk pregnant women and new mothers are referred to Healthy Families Loudoun for free critical support to ensure healthy birth outcomes and prepare the way for optimal child development. The HFL team also supplies clinic staff with diaper bags to distribute to families willing to be referred to HFL—with a 94% acceptance rate.
Yeny Ventura is one of those women referred by the clinic to the Healthy Families Loudoun program. A single mom of newborn twin boys, she was overwhelmed, but INMED Family Support Specialist Yesenia Abrigo was by Ventura’s side to help her build parenting skills and confidence.

“[Yesenia] showed me how to believe in myself as a single mother and to ask for assistance. She taught me how to spend quality time with my children and has given me the tools and ideas to continue working on their development,” Ventura said. “She also gave me an opportunity to learn about finances. I am very grateful to be part of this great program.”

INMED USA also has expanded its Parent Education Group program at its Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling–facilitated by Healthy Families Loudoun and free for all Loudoun families. The program helps parents practice good physical, mental and emotional health via workshops on COVID prevention and treatment, weekly Zumba classes and wellness and support groups for mothers. Last year, INMED USA introduced a basic computer skills class to help parents access community resources, including their children’s teachers and online

“I am extremely proud of our Healthy Families Loudoun team and the hard work of the program participants. This has been a flagship program for INMED in Loudoun for decades,” said Dr. Linda Pfeiffer, Founder and CEO of INMED Partnerships for Children, the parent organization of INMED USA. “Complying with the national and state-wide program standards is highly complex—with intensive case management, rigorous record-keeping, tracking of processes and outcomes, extensive training requirements and regular reporting and accreditation.”

For more information about Healthy Families Loudoun and other INMED USA programs, visit https://inmedusa.org.
For more information about Healthy Families Virginia, visit https://www.familiesforwardva.org/.

Photo caption: Pictured left to right: HFL Program Manager Gester Pino, Tania Frias (Family Support Specialist), Paula Callaghan (Community Educator), Yesenia Abrigo (HFL Supervisor), Nancy Ordonez (Family Support Specialist) and Tanisha Cox (Program Development Coordinator).

SBA Finalist Spotlight 2021: INMED Partnerships for Children

Loudoun Chamber announced INMED USA as a finalist for Nonprofit Organization of the Year! Join us for the 27th Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards on Friday, October 29, 2021 at The National Conference Center. Ticket information here.

Thank you to INMED Partnerships for Children Founder and CEO, Dr. Linda Pfeiffer for answering our questions! Congratulations on being a finalist for Nonprofit Organization of the Year. View all of the finalists here.

 

Tell us your story of how your business evolved into what it is today?

The vision for INMED began while I was completing my doctorate in archaeology and anthropology. As a single mother, I took my young daughter with me on excavations in remote indigenous communities in Latin America. In the evenings, I spent time with the other mothers in the village, sharing concerns for the health and wellbeing of our children. These mothers lacked access to the most basic healthcare, and their children’s suffering was heart-breaking.

Even well-intentioned efforts to deliver medical assistance and supplies from the developed world sometimes caused more harm than good—with medicine arriving without instructions in the native language or a local network for proper distribution. I knew there had to be a better way to get basic healthcare to the people who needed it most.

On my return to the U.S., I decided to forgo my academic career to found International Medical Services for Health (INMED) in 1986, leveraging multi-sector partnerships to deliver essential medicines to under-served populations around the world. I quickly realized that the cycle of infection and disease would continue without follow-on preventive education and training—thus INMED became INMED Partnerships for Children to build pathways to enable vulnerable children, families, and communities to achieve well-being and self-reliance. We established our international headquarters in Loudoun County in 1989, where we launched our U.S. programs to apply our international expertise to solve local socio-economic challenges.

In Loudoun, we focus on vulnerable children and families through our INMED Opportunity Center, and we continue to evolve. We recently launched an INMED Aquaponics program for children and youth from low-income environments and those with   health and developmental challenges—through education and vocational training in the burgeoning field of adaptive agriculture. INMED Aquaponics is a holistic program that involves hands-on technical training as well as business and financial planning.

What are you most proud of about your team?

Our team has earned the trust of our community. Everyone who comes to INMED knows that our team is passionate about building community, so we work with partners and our participants to find solutions together. Our mentoring, vocational training, and leadership training programs for our participants mean that people who originally came to INMED for help are now working on our team to help others. It’s a testament to the trust our staff have in our community that, during the pandemic, our INMED families knew they could come to INMED with any problem. I’m proud that our INMED team had that relationship that brought our community together during the pandemic to solve problems.

In what ways do you give back to the community?

As the Founder of INMED, it has been my life’s work to give back to the community.

What would it mean to you and your business to win a Small Business Award?

This prestigious award, coming from the Loudoun Chamber, would help to elevate and raise awareness for INMED’s work in Loudoun and the opportunity gaps that still exist for so many of our neighbors- and how we can work together to change that. It also would demonstrate and spotlight how our presence in Loudoun County, and how our dedicated Loudoun staff, have made lasting and positive change in the lives of millions of people around the world, as well as in Loudoun County.

What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?

It may have seemed a small thing at the time, as we were less than 3 years old and still very small, but the decision to move from Washington DC to Loudoun County made the largest impact on INMED.  Our original location on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and most accessible workforce promoted a very structured and political environment.  Loudoun County, on the other hand, encouraged our entrepreneurial spirit and a like-minded workforce.  INMED and Loudoun County have grown together.  This would not have been possible in our original location.

Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?

This is my husband.  I met him within two months of starting INMED, and he has been a guiding light as well as comfort ever since.  He is an Immunologist/Infectious Disease specialist who lived and worked in Bangladesh for 5 years, starting the Children’s Hospital for severely malnourished children when he was head of the Indian subcontinent research team for Johns Hopkins University.  He has been the Yin to my Yang, offering quiet comfort to the stresses of building an organization, while also being a Renaissance Man who has developed key innovations that are improving lives in our programs in Loudoun County and around the world.

What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?

As indicated above, moving to Loudoun County in 1989 was perhaps the most important decision in our history.  Its proximity to the Nation’s Capital and Dulles Airport are of course extremely helpful, but it is Loudoun County’s unparalleled entrepreneurial spirit and focus on partnerships across sectors that is most stimulating and important to me.

What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?

I never had a specific career goal as a child – but I always dreamed of living with, and learning about, different cultures, and what made them different from each other.  In fulfilling my dream, I learned there are more similarities than differences!

What is one book that changed your life and why?

“A Tale of Two Cities”

If you’re not in the office, where can we find you/what is another passion you have?

When I’m not in the office, I’m usually visiting our international affiliates and programs in Brazil, Peru, Jamaica, and South Africa.  I also take time to enjoy the local culture. When I’m not traveling for humanitarian business, I enjoy occasional retreats in the mountains, where I love to walk and rejuvenate.

How do you see your business evolving in the next 5 years? 

INMED is currently at a critical inflection point, poised for dramatic growth and impact on key social and environmental issues affecting us all locally and globally.  We plan to focus on scaling sustainable solutions that we have developed to address poverty.  We also are expanding a social enterprise division, generating revenue for the continued sustainability and success of our organization and its programs, while we are raising the standard of living for the people we serve.  In Loudoun County, we are exploring how to expand our education and aquaponics programs that will provide business and entrepreneurial training in a growing industry while also generating revenue for our organization to continue and grow its programs in Loudoun.  It also will serve as a model for similar ventures that are planned in South Africa, Jamaica, Brazil, and Peru.  An exchange program for children and youth in Loudoun County with these other programs is part of this plan.

To learn more about INMED Partnerships for Children, visit their website.

Loudoun County children channel COVID-19 frustrations into artwork exhibit

LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — The Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee (AAC) is featuring artwork created by students of vulnerable families in the community.

The paintings are flying off the walls, and cash into the pockets of young artists like David Mejia-Medina. His artwork hangs on the walls with a total of 19 pieces created by students ages 11 to 16 in an exhibit called “Youth Movement.”

“What inspired me is happiness, and I thought about my family… I just thought about the moments that I share with them,” said Mejia-Medina.

The exhibit features works of students at INMED USA Partnerships for Children, a non-profit organization aiming to build pathways for vulnerable children to achieve self-reliance.

“Sometimes, they’re dealing with things that are very hard for us to imagine. I just hoped that this helped them to stop thinking about survival and just about expressing themselves,” said Jennifer Smith, Director of U.S. Programs at INMED USA.

Enter the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee who is displaying the exhibit and Lisa Jones from the Loudoun Arts Council. Jones created the program to bolster confidence and constructive creativity in the budding artists.

“Once they stepped back and saw what they did, like David was saying, he was just proud, someone couldn’t believe they could create something so beautiful and these pieces are beautiful,” said Jones.

The pieces are selling between $35-$75 per painting, and half of the artwork has already been sold.

The student’s artwork isn’t the only exhibit on display. Gallery One is also featuring 24 ceramic bowls created by Loudoun potters to benefit Empty Bowls, to raise money for hunger relief in Loudoun County.

The exhibition will be on display until July 2.

https://www.localdvm.com/news/virginia/loudoun-county-children-channel-covid-19-frustrations-into-artwork-exhibit/ 

Loudoun County children channel COVID-19 frustrations into artwork exhibit