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Bon Secours Finds Young Families are Inline with National Economic Trend

New “Safe and Sound” program eases the financial impact on new families

RICHMOND, Va. (Apr. 20, 2009) – Richmond’s young families are worried about the economy and their concern is impacting their utilization of health care.

A new Bon Secours for Women program is aimed at helping young families financially plan and feel “Safe & Sound” about their health care needs.

According to local market research conducted by Bon Secours for Women, families of child-bearing age in Richmond fall in line with national trends and strongly feel the impact of the economic downturn.

”Most people don’t understand that child-bearing aged families are economically vulnerable and always impacted first by a volatile economy. They have been feeling the crunch since before the recession was officially declared in December 2007,” said Mary Anne Graf, vice president for Women’s and Children’s Services at Bon Secours Richmond Health System. “A combination of national trends and local research shows that these families are facing even tougher times because of the current economy. As their concerns become more heightened, we want to give them peace of mind.”

That peace of mind comes in the form of a comprehensive “Safe & Sound” program that will allow for greater access to prenatal and parenting classes – many of which are free or offered at discounted rates - assistance packages for those who have recently lost their insurance or jobs, and discounts at local businesses worth hundreds of dollars through the Bon Secours Baby Club.

“The legacy of the sisters of Bon Secours is Good Help to Those In Need®,” said Graf, who will be speaking about and publishing the findings nationally this summer. “And in these challenging times, we are continuing with our mission to serve those in need and making additional services available to those who are finding themselves in circumstances beyond their control. No one should have to choose between their economic situation and family health.”

Other statistics show:

  • 79 percent of Richmond’s young families surveyed have cut back on health care:
    • Fewer doctor visits
    • Delayed procedures or surgery
    • Cancelled or delayed annual exams
    • Difficulty paying for hospitalization
  • Women are working longer into their pregnancies out of fear that maternity leave will impact their job security.
  • Young women and men are reluctant to take time off from work, for any reason, for fear of losing their jobs.
Safe & Sound’s five components include:
  • More Value: Baby Club discounts from hundreds of retailers; 2 for 1 packages on prenatal & parenting classes
  • Love and Learn: The most comprehensive prenatal and parenting education program on the East Coast - with more than 14,000 class participants each year - expands their many free classes to include free “Baby Budgeting Basics” and “Surviving to Thriving” stress management classes.
  • Security Blanket: Offers assistance to qualified persons who have recently lost their insurance. Assistance plans for the uninsured include a deeply discounted package fee for delivery with easy interest-free payment plans.
  • makes the job of managing family health care - which often falls to mom -easier with a secure family EMR (Electronic Medical Record), easy access to health care questions, and comprehensive health assessments.
  • Add Quality Time: Blue Door Baby Concierge – an exclusive Bon Secours partnership – takes the labor out of parenting and puts the quality back into family time for busy parents. A one-stop personal assistant who schedules needed services, purchases gifts and takes care of any project or daily task that you may need help with. Bon Secours Baby Club members receive discounts on this service.
Bon Secours Richmond Health System has dedicated obstetrics services, birthing centers and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) services at three of its hospitals: St. Mary’s, Memorial Regional in Hanover County and St. Francis in Chesterfield County.

For more information, or to see if you qualify for the Plan Ahead Packages, call (804) 340-BABY and ask for “Plan Ahead OB Programs.” These programs are available through August 2009.

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