Barancik, SMH Tout Expansion of First 1,000 Days

Todays News


A pilot program aimed at helping babies born into poverty just expanded its staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Now the philanthropic force behind First 1,000 Days Sarasota County hopes to set an example on the best ways to help young families in need.

Chuck Barancik, vice chair of the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, says it caught him by surprise to learn 52 percent of babies at SMH were born into poverty. Staff at the foundation suggested an effort to bring nonprofits, government entities and hospital agencies together to help mothers, particularly those who had little or no access to prenatal care.

“Our horizon has been broadened with this ‘First 1,000 Days,’ which was conceptualized by staff,” says Chuck Barancik. “This has been met with tremendous community support.”

The new effort was among the most exciting efforts Chuck and wife Margie Barancik shared during an exclusive interview with SRQ Media Group.

On Thursday, SMH officials and the Barancik Foundation announced the program would bring on Dr. Chelsea Arnold as a program director and Chanel Roberts as patient navigator. The two will further build and oversee the Patient Navigator Pilot Program for First 1,000 Days.

A navigator program emerged as an early recommendation made by First 1,000 Days partners to improve the system and care and better connect families with resources. The initiative will be funded fully through philanthropic support during a three-year pilot program.

“The goal of First 1,000 Days is to weave the fabric of our social safety net so tight that no one falls through the cracks,” says Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Barancik Foundation. “Chelsea and Chanel play key roles in achieving this goal and we are grateful to the leadership of Sarasota Memorial Hospital for their commitment to this initiative.”

Hospital officials showed equal enthusiasm.

“Sarasota Memorial is excited to be the backbone organization for First 1,000 Days,” says Pam Beitlich, executive director of Women and Children’s Services at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. “We understand that being a new mom is amazing, and it’s a lot. Coordinating and navigating available services will make all the difference.”

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