NMCRS offers well-baby checks

14 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society is committed to ensuring that all available resources are used to assist personnel of the naval services – active, retired, and their eligible family members – to achieve financial self sufficiency and find solutions to emergency needs.

Every first Tuesday of the month, NMCRS does just that by providing well-baby checks at the Tarawa Terrace Community Center aboard the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune housing area.

Visiting nurses from the Jacksonville, N.C., area provide services every month to the families of service members aboard base by weighing and measuring their children and answering any questions parents have regarding their child’s health.

“Family members aboard the (Tarawa Terrace and Midway Park) housing areas are able to stroll to the clinics and the only eligibility is having a military identification card,” said Kelly Shortt, a volunteer support specialist, NMCRS. “They can talk to the nurses about anything they are concerned with. Although the nurses cannot give out medical information, they can assist in making appointments with a primary care manager or a pediatrician.”

The nurses also provide charts to parents that can be brought in for every visit to track the growth and progression of their children.

“I think it’s pretty significant when it comes time to getting good, reliable information from our nurses,” Shortt said. “Our nurses work hand-in-hand with (Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune), so they have a big network here. Having that medical side of it and having a nurse you can speak to one-on-one is huge.”

Along with the well-baby checks, the clinic also provides information applicable to parents raising young children.

“NMCRS is about financial education and teaching our young service families how to live within their means, making it work for them and then finding those resources so they don’t have to try to figure out how they’re going to make it work,” Shortt said.

After the well-baby clinic is conducted, a free clothing exchange, with gently used children and maternity clothing donated to the NMCRS, is available to all clinic attendants.

“The bonus is to have them stretch their dollars between paychecks when they have children (who) are growing so quickly,” Shortt said.  “It is so important to be able to have appropriate clothing that they don’t have to spend a lot of money on. We know from what we see here in the office when we’re doing their budgets that a lot of them are living paycheck to paycheck so this can really give them a break.”

For more information on NMCRS services or well-baby checks, call 451-5346.