Vitalyst Health Foundation Awards 2020 Spark Grant To Support Arizona’s
New Parents

June 8, 2020 – Tempe, AZ

Connection in the postpartum period is more important than ever given the current
Covid pandemic. 4th Trimester Arizona, which has been awarded the 2020 Spark
Grant from Vitalyst Health Foundation, is poised to help. By designing and cultivating
4th trimester ecosystems, 4th Trimester Arizona is working to reduce new parent
mortality and morbidity, increase health and resilience for both newborns and parents,
and, ultimately, to help families thrive.

When parents receive guidance, social support, and immediate access to resources
they are less likely to experience postpartum health complications. They are also more
likely to recognize postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and seek support when
experiencing problems. Cultivating well-defined regional 4th Trimester ecosystems will
build stronger connections among families, community organizations and healthcare
providers, promote best practices and make 4th Trimester access to care issues more
visible and addressable.

The steps to accomplish this, to create a “village” or ecosystem, for families include:

● Cultivate three regional 4th trimester ecosystems by teaming with local
champions in the Navajo County, West Valley, and Chandler.
● Establish a 4th trimester community of practice of perinatal champions
through sharing lessons and experiences learned from cultivating the
three initial ecosystems.
● Develop a how-to guide for creating a regional 4th Trimester ecosystem
to support dozens of additional communities.

“My hope in cultivating these 4th Trimester Ecosystems is that when my children are having babies it will be normal for communities to come together to support new families,” says 4th Trimester Arizona Executive Director Dr. Jennie Bever.

Joining 4th Trimester Arizona in this vision, are the following lead community partners:
● Kate Dobler, Regional Director of First Things First (FTF) in Navajo County
● Donna Beedle, Family Resource Center Manager of AZCEND in Chandler
● Chris Lopez, Avondale Neighborhood and Family Services Director in Avondale
● Carrie Zavala, Maricopa County WIC Program Manager in Maricopa County
● Holly Lozano, Banner Thunderbird NICU Development Coordinator in Phoenix

“I am excited to be involved in this project that will bring community partners together to
hold space for new mothers and their babies,” says Kate Dobler, Navajo/Apache
Regional Director for First Things First. “The first few months of life are magical and
demanding, and new mothers need the support of a securely knit community in order to
not just survive, but thrive with their babies.”

About 4th Trimester Arizona
4th Trimester Arizona is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting all
families as they transition into parenthood. Through the grassroots efforts of health
professionals, educators, local businesses and families, 4th Trimester Arizona provides
support for families during pregnancy and through the first months and years after a
baby is born, connecting “the village” of support for new families through community
events and connection to other parents, local groups, and organizations. For more
information, please visit: www.4thtrimesteraz.org

About Vitalyst Health Foundation
Vitalyst Health Foundation is a Phoenix-based public foundation focused
on improving well-being in Arizona by addressing root causes and broader issues that
affect health. For additional information, please visit: www.VitalystHealth.org

Media Contact:
Sarah Clay
[email protected]