The Gift of Education:

Haines Family Foundation

Healthier Pregnancies the Goal of a Prenatal eLearning Program
at the Virtua Center for Women


When Manole Jones-Bird was pregnant with her first child in 2012, she received no formal prenatal education. No one ever offered it to her.

After giving birth to her daughter, Jones-Bird said she was left with unanswered questions about changes to her body and caring for herself and her newborn post-delivery.

Now pregnant for the second time and due on Thanksgiving 2014, Jones-Bird receives prenatal care at the Virtua Center for Women in Lumberton, where she also has access to the prenatal education she needs.

“I wish I had taken these classes when I was pregnant the first time,” she says. “They have answered a lot of questions I had then that never really got answered.”

The education Jones-Bird receives is part of an innovative eLearning program launched at the Center for Women in February 2014, thanks to a gift from the Haines Family Foundation. The goal of the program is to decrease preterm births and ensure moms have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies.

Most important to Jones-Bird has been the anatomy lessons that explain the physical changes she worried about during her first pregnancy and the nutrition information that helps her make healthier eating choices.

The Center for Women has always offered free birthing and prenatal education classes, but less than 1% percent of patients take advantage of them. Many women cite multiple barriers for attending classes including missing time from work, lack of transportation, and childcare needs. The eLearning model removes these barriers and makes it more likely expectant mothers will participate in and complete the program. So far, 72 percent of pregnant patients at the Center for Women are enrolled.

While waiting for already-scheduled prenatal appointments, women access 25 to 45-minute educational sessions on tablets, with the assistance of a care provider. Sessions are offered during three stages of pregnancy and cover topics such as prenatal care, labor and delivery, baby basics and breastfeeding.

The content, primarily videos with limited reading material, is easy to follow.

“Research tells us that inadequate prenatal care is associated with poorer pregnancy outcomes. Prenatal education reduces the risk of preterm deliveries, low birth weight, maternal and infant deaths, and sexually transmitted disease,” said Kelly Nierstedt, assistant vice president, Women's & Children's Service Lines at Virtua. “With this eLearning program, we are making it easier for women to get the education they need to avoid unnecessary health risks for themselves and their babies.”

The Virtua Centers for Women in Lumberton and Voorhees provide patients with routine gynecological services, high-risk prenatal and maternity care, and access to social workers, nutritionists and financial counselors. While the center in Lumberton provides a wide range of high-quality obstetric and gynecological services to all women, many patients here have significant financial needs, are underinsured or have no insurance at all.

Supporting women and children in need is at the heart
of The Haines Family Foundation


The Haines family has been harvesting cranberries in Burlington County since the 1800s, growing a modest farm into a booming business. With 1,400 acres of bogs and 10,000 acres of wetlands and woods, Pine Island Cranberry Co, Inc. located in Hogwallow, NJ is the second largest cranberry farm in the world.

William S. Haines, Sr. farmed Hogwallow for more than six decades. When he passed in 2007, William Haines, Jr. stepped into the lead and is now a fourth generation grower. Part of the Ocean Spray Cooperative, where William Haines, Sr. served on the board of directors for 40 years, Hogwallow produces half of New Jersey’s annual harvest.

But the Haines family legacy in Burlington County is bigger than its bogs.

“The cranberry business has been very good to my family,” said Holly Haines, who until 2012 was the CFO of Pine Island Cranberry Co., Inc. and now runs her family’s foundation. “My parents were very community service oriented, and my mother was especially passionate about education.”

The foundation was created by William Sr. to honor the memory of his wife, Sara, whose dedication to education in the county was inspired by her own life experiences. Sara’s father owned a farm in Vincentown, NJ during the Depression.

Sara was accepted for entrance to Glassboro Teacher’s College, but because of her father’s illness and the resulting lack of funds, she was unable to attend college. In her memory, a scholarship for single parents was established at Burlington County College.

Thankful for their successes, William Sr. and Sara always looked out for their neighbors in Chatsworth, quietly supporting families who had fallen on hard times. They were also deeply involved in public community service. William Sr. served on the county planning and agriculture boards. Sara was part of the school district’s Parent Teacher Association, president of the districts school board, a founding board member for the Burlington County Institute of Technology and was the first woman president of the Burlington County Board of Agriculture.

“Because of what my parents taught us, we all kind of give back in our own way,” Holly says of her siblings. “With the foundation, we are following my parents’ passions.”

Today, The Haines Family Foundation also supports open space and farmland preservation – something important to William Sr. and William Jr. – and honors Sara’s belief in providing educational opportunities to women and children in need. Holly believes the gift to Virtua Foundation is one her mother would be especially proud of.

“I think she’d be very pleased to see the difference this will make in the lives of so many women and children in our community,” said Holly. “She’d certainly want to be a part of it.”

eLearning Program for Expectant Mothers


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Virtua Foundation

303 Lippincott Drive, 4th Floor
Marlton, NJ 08053
Phone: 856-355-0830

Fax: 856-355-0831
vhf@virtua.org

 

 

Virtua Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to enhancing Virtua's mission through philanthropy.

 

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