NVFS Celebrates Healthy Families Alexandria at Holiday Event

Oakton, Va., Dec. 14, 2006— Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) honored families in its Healthy Families Alexandria program on Dec. 4 at its 2006 Healthy Families Alexandria holiday party. Healthy Families is devoted to promoting the health, early stimulation and nurturing of children at risk of poor outcomes.

About 200 family members and children attended the evening event, which was held at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town. Mayor Bill Euille welcomed guests, and City Council members Andrew MacDonald and Tim Lovain presented certificates to families who were graduating from the program. Santa Claus and his helpers also visited the celebration, bringing with food, face painting, a magic show and bags of Mattel toys donated for the children.

Healthy Families Alexandria is a voluntary home visiting program that supports new parents and their young children during a child’s most rapid and significant phase of development. Started in 1993, the program improves parenting, encourages child health and development and prevents child abuse and neglect. Affiliated with Healthy Families America, a national initiative of Prevent Child Abuse America, the program is a public/private partnership funded at the local and state level.

“NVFS is grateful to the Hilton Alexandria Old Town for donating two ballrooms for the party, to Colonial Parking for providing complimentary parking and to the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) for organizing the party. With the help of these generous supporters, we were able to have a wonderful event for our families,” said NVFS President and CEO Mary Agee.

For the past 10 years NACHRI has organized a holiday party to celebrate the efforts of Healthy Families, which provides comprehensive support and guidance to often overburdened new parents struggling with a variety of risks, including childhood histories of abuse and neglect. The innovative service gives parents the emotional support and skills needed to help ensure positive outcomes for children from birth to age 5, the most rapid and significant developmental phase of life.

“Healthy Families Alexandria helps local mothers and fathers make positive choices that create a safe and healthy home environment for their children,” said Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of NACHRI. “The unwavering support of the Hilton Alexandria Old Town and Mattel’s Gift in Kind program, which donated 600 toys to the party this year, makes it possible for us to celebrate the well-deserved successes these families have achieved.”

NACHRI, founded in 1968, is a not-for-profit, membership organization of more than 200 children’s hospitals committed to excellence in providing health care to children. NACHRI works to ensure all children’s access to health care and the continuing ability of children’s hospitals to provide services needed by children.