Parent's with Initiative:
In a single 12-week session, Padres Con Initiative (PCI) holds 26 classes for new parents, serves more than 175 families and provides 40 home visits to families in need of parenting help.
Anna is known for reciting beautiful, heart wrenching Mexican poetry. She often recites a poem that her mother passed along to her about an orphan girl with so many problems, she asks God to take her. “That was me once,” said Anna. “I was the girl with so many problems.”
Anna came to Virginia Garcia eight years ago, pregnant with her first child. She was young, spoke little English and when her baby turned out to have severe colic, she became desperate. “One day I handed the baby to my husband and told him I couldn’t take it anymore,” said Anna.
She was referred to the Padres con Initiativa program (Parents with Initiative/PCI), part of Virginia Garcia’s Outreach Department. “The first thing they told me was that everything will be alright; they could help me.”
PCI is a parenting program that Virginia Garcia has offered to patients for 25 years. Patients meet for group classes to learn everything from post-natal health and breastfeeding, to child development, positive parenting and discipline.
The classes turned out to be the godsend for which Anna was looking. “I found out that I wasn’t alone,” said Anna. “I learned that other mothers have babies who cry and that it doesn’t make you a bad mother.” One of the many things Anna learned in her classes was that stress can be passed along from mother to child. She and other mothers also learned that massage can be very useful in calming a colicky infant.
“It’s a very important service that Virginia Garcia provides,” said Ignolia Duyck, Outreach Manager. “This year we added a new curriculum specifically for Latino parents. It’s called Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) and it focuses on family and cultural values in the Latino community.” The once desperate new mother literally bubbles over with enthusiasm, especially when it comes to Virginia Garcia. “I tell everyone about Virginia Garcia and I tell them to be open with their doctor, which isn’t always easy for women who are new to the community and feel alone.”
Anna serves on one of the patient committees for Virginia Garcia and helped out this summer at the health fair and groundbreaking for the new clinic. “Virginia Garcia is like my family,” said Anna. “They always treat me with love and kindness.”
*We are so grateful to our patients who chose to share their stories of health and healing with us. To respect their privacy, patient images and names have been changed.