BEND, OR -- Healthy Beginnings is hiring parents to become advocates in four rural areas of Central Oregon. Executive Director Diane Murray-Fleck says the new program is in response to feedback she’s received from rural residents who want to see the non-profit’s early childhood screenings run by people from their own communities. "We’re looking for dynamic, engaged parents that might be interested in owning and getting educated on early childhood development and being the face of our program, locally."
Murray-Fleck says they've already found a rural advocate for Prineville, but they're still looking for advocates to take over screenings in Madras, La Pine and Sisters, "These local rural advocates will be the host –the face of these Healthy Beginnings screenings, but they’ll also be kind of living their lives as young parents and talking about how important those first five years are."
Healthy Beginnings has provided free medical, behavioral and developmental screenings for Central Oregon children, birth to age five, for nearly 23 years. The Bend-based organization has received several large grants in the last three months to help cover the cost of implementing the Rural Advocate Program, including $94,000 from the Ford Family Foundation.
To hear our full conversation with Healthy Beginnings Executive Director Diane Murray-Fleck, visit our Podcast Page