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Astoria Federal Savings Gift Supports Perinatal Services for Medically Underserved
Astoria Federal Savings has once again made a $7,500 donation in support of a program offered by South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Family Medicine Center that is designed to combat the elevated health risks and poorer health outcomes, including infant mortality, of medically-underserved pregnant women and their newborns.
"As a Long Island headquartered and focused community bank, Astoria Federal Savings is proud to help South Nassau Communities Hospital deliver health education, support and perinatal care to women in and around the South Shore community. Their proactive approach gives babies the best possible chance for a long and healthy life in the many communities that Astoria Federal supports,” said Brian Edwards, Executive Vice President, Astoria Federal Savings.
“This is the third consecutive year that Astoria Federal Savings has made a generous gift in support of South Nassau’s mission to provide programs and services that address the range of health issues and problems facing the residents and communities we serve,” said Elizabeth Nardone, vice president of development at South Nassau.
Undesirable outcomes such as premature birth and low birth weights are serious problems affecting more than half a million infants in the United States each year, at a cost of more than $26 billion annually. Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death, and babies who survive often face the risk of lifetime health challenges, including cerebral palsy, respiratory impairment and developmental delays.
South Nassau Family Medicine Center’s Perinatal Education Program is working to reduce these often preventable outcomes. It was one of four sites selected in 2013 to participate in the Nassau County Department of Health’s evidence-based research project, Baby Basics, which assesses the effectiveness of a new curriculum designed specifically for low-income women, many of whom have low literacy skills. The program offers educational materials for patients, along with training and technical assistance for staff in providing prenatal education and health literacy skills to underserved families, with the goal of improving health outcomes for both parents and their children. In 2013, the Family Medicine Center provided individual education and counseling to 420 newly pregnant women. During this same period, these pregnant and/or parenting women and their families were also offered pregnancy and parenting education classes. Program evaluations consistently showed that the program is effective in improving patients’ knowledge of self-care and infant care, increasing breast feeding rates – an important benchmark for assessing maternal and child health outcomes – and improving access to care.
The Perinatal Education Program provides culturally and linguistically appropriate counseling and patient education services that aim to improve health outcomes for pregnant and parenting women and their newborns, enhancing women’s capacity for self-care during and after pregnancy, and improving their knowledge of recommended infant care. Activities include classroom-based instruction and individualized patient education sessions in both Spanish and English. Topics include nutrition, physical activity, understanding when to seek medical attention, stages of fetal and infant development, learning how newborns signal their needs, and safety tips for the home environment.
Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 435 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,000 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.
About Astoria Financial Corporation
Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE: AF), with assets of $15.8 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association. Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $9.9 billion, is the second largest thrift depository in New York and embraces its philosophy of “Putting people first” by providing the customers and local communities it serves with quality financial products and services through 85 convenient banking branch locations, one business banking office, and multiple delivery channels, including its enhanced website, www.astoriafederal.com. Astoria Federal commands a significant deposit market share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties with a population exceeding that of 38 individual states. Astoria Federal originates residential mortgage loans through its banking and loan production offices in New York, a broker network in four states, primarily along the East Coast, and correspondent relationships covering nine states and the District of Columbia and multi-family and commercial real estate loans, primarily on rent controlled and rent stabilized apartment buildings, located in New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area.