ewnc's blog

Lifestyle Changes for Optimal Preconception Health: A Path to a Healthier You

by the North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign

Each year, many of us begin making resolutions to eat less, exercise more and manage our stress. ‘Taking care of yourself to become a healthier you’ is a key mantra of the North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign (NCPHC). This message is communicated all year through education and trainings on health topics such as healthy weight, folic acid supplementation, tobacco cessation, reproductive life planning, early prenatal care and having a medical home. Each topic recommendation may help lower one’s risk of having a premature baby.

Welcome Jennifer Vickery!

Jennifer Vickery

Please join us in welcoming Jennifer Vickery to the team as our new Western Regional Coordinator!

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences from The University of Georgia where she majored in Family and Consumer Sciences Education with a certificate in English as a Second Language. She is currently a graduate student at Lenoir-Rhyne University studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Prior to joining the North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign (NCPHC) team, she worked for Goodwill Northwest North Carolina for two years where she developed the Goodwill Girls Empowerment Group. The group’s mission aimed to provide a safe place for at-risk female teenagers to explore issues they faced on a daily basis.

Find Your Inner Yoshimi: A look at the social determinants of health and stress

by Steffie Duginske – Western Regional Coordinator

Every time I hear the Flaming Lips song, Yoshimi battles part 1, from their album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, I can’t help but think that it could be the theme song for the NC Preconception Health Campaign when it comes to our multivitamin/folic acid message. Listening will make reading the rest of this article more enjoyable and understandable, but not totally necessary. Check it out here:

The Link Between Tobacco Use and Substance Use/Mental Health Disorders

by Brenda Stubbs

I think most people – health providers and patients alike – understand the dangers and overall health risks of tobacco use, even those who currently smoke or use tobacco.

Add substance use or mental health disorders into the mix, and the risk goes up even more, as smoking rates are even higher in these vulnerable populations. Look at the statistics: 90% of women who use opioids, along with 77-93% of patients in treatment for substance use or addiction, and 60-88% of people with mental health disorders – ranging from depression to bipolar to schizophrenia – ALSO SMOKE.

For many people in these populations, smoking may SEEM like the least of their problems – but it is certainly the one problem that may be killing them at higher rates.

Alcohol and Your Preconception Health

by Eleanor Snell

North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign Cape Fear Regional Coordinator…wow, that’s a mouth full and my new job title! After ten years I have returned to work for March of Dimes for which I formally served as a Community Director in Wilmington.

During my hiatus from this wonderful organization, I worked for seven years as an Education and Training Specialist for the North Carolina Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission. I traveled throughout eastern North Carolina educating those who sell and serve alcohol to the public, including ABC stores, restaurants, bars, and convenience stores about state alcohol laws. I worked with employees on military bases who sell and serve alcohol, and provided alcohol education programs to parents, civic groups and students from elementary to college age.

Welcome Eleanor

Please welcome Eleanor Snell, Cape Fear Coordinator to the March of Dimes and the North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign.

A Fayetteville native, Eleanor earned an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from St. Mary’s College and furthered her education at East Carolina University, completing a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She has worked as a Training and Education Specialist for the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission and is also a former Community Director for the Southeastern Division of March of Dimes in Wilmington.

Eleanor will be serving health providers and the community at large, and her outreach will have an emphasis on healthy weight, folic acid and the statewide multivitamin distribution program.

A new staff member has joined our team!

Please welcome our newest regional coordinator, Michaela Penix! As the Eastern Regional Program Coordinator, Michaela provides preconception health education, training, and support in 29 counties in eastern North Carolina.

This web site is designed for informational use only; it is not designed to give advice, diagnose, cure or treat any medical condition you may have. If you have any questions about your health, please contact your health care provider.