SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - There is one health program running strong these days, despite the current problems with national healthcare. It is called "WEB," which stands for "Welcome Every Baby."
The voluntary program is in its 13th year and is a partnership with Santa Barbara County Public Health and Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria.
"Usually within the first 24 to 48 hours after baby is born, a nurse goes to the home and in privacy of home, does a head to toe check of the mom and a head to toe check of baby," said Florene Bednersh, director of the WEB Program.
Traile Easland supervises a staff of six part-time, on-call nurses. She helped Dawn and Mike Munden after the birth of their daughter, Claire Noelle. "She's got two fontanelles. This one back here closes in about eight to 10, 12 weeks. This one (on top of head) could take a year. Even a little bit longer," said Easland.
"In the hospital when they gave us the paperwork and said, 'Oh, you should try this program,' we thought no, we probably don't need it. And the nurses kept suggesting it and we said, 'Ok, we'll do it.' And then she came and I think it was such a relief," Mike Munden said.
An estimated 2,000 new moms welcome the free, voluntary visits each year. "Just her safety and being taken care of, whether it's breast feeding or sleeping, all those things that make her a healthy, happy baby. We want to provide that for her," said Dawn Munden.
Funding for WEB comes from Proposition 10 tobacco funds.