HOPES Welcomes a New Family

When baby Alvaro suddenly landed in his Uncle Jose’s care, he felt overwhelmed. Jose did have the help of his mother, but it has been ages since she cared for a newborn and they didn’t have any milk, diapers or a crib for Alvaro.

When Alvaro was brought in for his first well-child check, HOPES staff noticed Jose was visibly stressed by the new responsibility and hadn’t slept for days. Rallying around the new parent, HOPES staff gave Jose a well-deserved break while they helped him get better equipped for parenthood.

As HOPES intake staff fawned over Alvaro, a case manager got the baby signed up for Medicaid and the WIC Nutrition Program to provide the new family with free milk and baby food to help Alvaro grow. Jose got a referral to a local diaper bank, and case managers even helped them find a free crib.

Alvaro’s first appointment was with Dr. Natalie Vogel, HOPES Chief Medical Officer. Though Natalie had been a pediatrician for years, it was her experience as a mother that helped Jose the most.

“Dr. Vogel was fantastic during our first visit. She is a mom too and I felt she was very loving and nurturing, Jose said. “She told me it was alright to feel frustrations. When someone takes charge of another being, you want to be this perfect role model. She made me feel like it’s okay if you’re not perfect.”

After a few parenting tips and an encouraging first visit to the doctor with a healthy baby, Jose felt more confident in his ability to care for Alvaro. Jose said we wasn’t expecting all the help and resources he got when he first came into HOPES. Jose never got the best impression of hospitals and medical clinics during his life, and he said he was used to being treated like a number. But he felt like HOPES staff really cared about the well-being of little Alvaro.

“Everyone here makes you feel like family, especially the doctors,” Jose said. “They showed that they cared, and I know Alvaro is in good hands.”

A few months later when Alvaro came in for his next check-up, Vogel noticed a real bond had formed between Jose and his nephew and Jose felt more comfortable in his role as a caregiver.