Critical Components of the TWMB Approach
While TWMB is in a nascent state, the leaders in Georgia have identified several critical elements that support its replicability and capacity to achieve population-level results.
1. TWMB is founded on the notion of collective impact.
The TWMB initiative in Georgia engages multiple cross-sector partners in positions of decision-making authority and has benefitted from both high-level leadership and administrative support from the State Departments of Public Health and Education. Private partners have played an equally vital role in the work in Georgia, contributing their expertise and facilitating connections with healthcare systems and providers, researchers, and community and corporate collaborators.
In other states, a TWMB initiative will likely take a different shape and form and might include different partners, but this collective approach involving some of the following entities is critical.
State departments or agencies focused on children and/or healthcare
State university systems and/or private universities addressing one or more of the disciplines embodied in TWMB – nursing, pediatrics, public health, and education.
- Clinical entities, including regional perinatal centers and state chapters of national professional associations representing obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, nursing, etc.
State public broadcasting service organizations that can provide strategic communication support
- Local and regional businesses that can provide essential funding and support and can sponsor technology solutions.
2. TWMB is dedicated to a sustainable workforce development approach.
By integrating language nutrition coaching as a core competency throughout workforces and populations already reaching most parents and babies, TWMB seeks to deliver a consistent and reinforcing message that strengthens the capacity of all parents and caregivers to deliver vital language nutrition to their children, including:
- WIC nutritionists who reach 53 percent of all infants nationwide
- Early learning educators who reach the parents of the 16 percent of children, under the age of one, enrolled in early childhood education programs
- Social workers who work with system-involved infants and the foster parents who care for those children and who can coach biological parents
- Pediatricians who interact with new and expectant parents as many as nine times between the third trimester of pregnancy and the the child’s first birthday
3. TWMB maximizes and leverages innovative technologies to reinforce and support the face-to-face messaging that families receive from the TWMB workforces.
The TWMB interactive website, smartphone application (available on IOS and Android), Baby Ella video and complementary programs like text4baby (offered by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition) deliver age-appropriate messages and information to new and expectant parents, reinforcing the coaching provided by the TWMB-trained workforces and groups. In addition, TWMB is leveraging technology to deliver its training to nurses through the Content Management System and to early learning educators through the Read Right from the Start Cox Campus.