01.30.2018 Back to News

Annual Update: Methodist Jennie Edmundson Family Resource Center

In 2017, the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Family Resource Center served 231,406 clients through education, presentations, health fairs, screenings and community outreach. This is a 7.7 percent increase over 2016.

The Family Resource Center is located on the lower level of Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. 

“We provide free, easy-to-understand health information to patients, their families and anyone in the community,” said Jean Armstrong, RN, Manager of Family and Community Health Resources at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. “Our goal is to help you better understand your medical condition or that of a loved one.”

The Family Resource Center also provides My Memory Bags for grieving children free of charge. These tote bags are made for preschool, school-age and teenagers grieving the loss of their parent, grandparent, sibling or pet. Each bag contains age-appropriate resources of books, booklets, support groups, community resources to help a grieving child. In 2017, 125 My Memory Bags were distributed to children in our community, either given to them in the hospital or mailed out.

In 2015, Methodist Jennie Edmundson’s Family Resource Center launched a new Safe Baby Campaign. This educational campaign includes an easy-to-understand DVD/booklet set, available free of charge to new parents, grandparents and daycare providers. 

Topics covered include the prevention of:

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Co-Sleeping
  • Infant exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke

“We have dedicated this campaign to two Council Bluffs infants: Madison Renae Clark who died from shaken baby syndrome in 2002, and Lane Nicholas Thomas who died in 2011 from SIDS,” explained Armstrong.

About the Shaken Baby Task Force

In 1997, individuals at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital became concerned about the high incidence of child abuse cases in the Council Bluffs area, particularly three deaths attributed to Shaken Baby Syndrome. In a community effort aimed at prevention through education and public awareness, area organizations joined forces to form the Shaken Baby Task Force.
More Information 

For a free copy of the new DVD/booklet package or for additional information, contact the Family Resource Center at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital at (712) 396-4200 or visit our updated website at www.safebaby.org

In 2017, over 36,300 Safebaby DVD/booklet sets, magnets and brochures were distributed to hospitals, agencies, daycare providers in the U.S. Another resource available for parents and caregivers is the 24-hour crying baby helpline. In 2017, 204 phone calls were placed because caregivers wanted additional information or could not get their baby to stop crying.

“I think of that as 204 infant lives that were saved” said Armstrong, who also serves as Coordinator of the Shaken Baby Task Force.

A total of 1,355 middle school, high school, and new parents were educated on the prevention of shaken baby syndrome and ways to calm a crying baby. In 2017, presentations were provided in Bellevue, Council Bluffs, Glenwood and Omaha. New in 2017: Northwest High School and Glenwood Middle School parenting and child development presentations were added.

If you or a family member require an individualized packet on any disease from A to Z — including advance directives, heart disease and smoking cessation — assistance is just a phone call away.
For additional information on the Family Resource Center or the Shaken Baby Task Force at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, contact Jean Armstrong at (712) 396-4200 or Jean.Armstrong@nmhs.org.