The Creating Positive Relationships program administered by Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City recently was chosen a finalist for the national Jackson Health Care Charitable Service Awards, given since 2010. Since 2000, Franciscan St. Anthony Health has offered the 20-year-old Carmel, Ind.-based program, which teaches character-building, goal-setting, sexual abstinence and carries anti-drug, alcohol and bullying messages, to public and parochial middle and high school students in La Porte County and in Berrien County in Michigan.
It was initiated after nurses, physicians and hospital administrators noted an increase in teen pregnancies and low birth weights in the Michigan City area.
The hospital’s veteran instructors include Joanne Mahaffey (far left), an obstetrics nurse technician; Mary Donnelly (second from right), a retired, longtime obstetrics nurse; and Doria LeMay (far right), program coordinator. Also shown are Sister Marcene Franz, hospital director of pastoral care, who accepted the award on the hospital’s behalf at a program in Georgia recently; and Elaine Criswell, hospital education manager.
The awards are presented to identify community health service programs and make them models for other such initiatives.