Kodiak Kindness uses TigerConnect Patient Engagement to provide infant feeding support

Ask any parent and they will tell you that babies come with a steep learning curve. In addition to adjusting to life with little sleep and round-the-clock feedings, new parents feel the pressure of making sure their child is meeting important developmental and health milestones. The first year of a baby’s life can be a vulnerable time for families. Receiving non-judgmental support and resources can make all the difference.

Lactation consultant and pediatric dietician Heather Preece founded the nonprofit Kodiak Kindness to be that community resource for new parents living on the remote island of Kodiak, Alaska. Kodiak Kindness provides compassionate, free, and evidence-based infant feeding support services to families through their baby’s first year of life. In this episode of The Connected Care Team Podcast, Heather discusses how TigerConnect’s Patient Engagement Solutions helped Kodiak Kindness simplify outreach to families and pivot during the pandemic so that their essential service continued uninterrupted.

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Leveraging Patient Engagement Solutions to Provide Infant Feeding Support

Kodiak Kindness helps new parents navigate important developmental decisions

Kodiak Kindness is unique in that they don’t have a brick-and-mortar office. Their remote workforce of peer counselors meets with families in the hospital and at home and continues to stay in touch with regular calls, texts, and video chats. Whether a family chooses to breastfeed or formula feed, Kodiak Kindness helps parents make informed feeding choices and build confidence so that their babies will thrive and grow. 

This service is vital given that Kodiak Island does not have a NICU or regular pediatricians and many families live far from extended family and friends. New mothers learning to breastfeed or bottle feed for the first time, can struggle with knowing whether or not their baby is getting enough to eat or latching correctly. The Kodiak team engages families with educational support from the very beginning, making it possible to intervene before feeding issues become serious. 

“Our job is to support the parent, no matter what the outcome. If we can boost that parent’s confidence that has an impact that lasts the lifetime of the child.”

– Heather Preece, MHSc, RDN, IBCLC, RLC, Volunteer Executive Director of Kodiak Kindness

TigerConnect Patient Engagement simplifies outreach 

Kodiak Kindness’ nimble workforce allows their team to meet families wherever they are on their journey. However, this flexibility also requires managing multiple phone lines for multiple peer counselors. Prior to partnering with TigerConnect, new parents in their program were receiving calls and texts from multiple phone numbers. This was problematic from a HIPAA and ease-of-use standpoint, as parents may not always recognize the number calling them and text communications were not necessarily secure.

“We are absolutely thrilled with TigerConnect and our ability to do secure messaging, as well as the masked phone call feature. TigerConnect really has been an amazing technology boost for us!”

– Heather Preece, MHSc, RDN, IBCLC, RLC, Volunteer Executive Director of Kodiak Kindness

TigerConnect Patient Engagement helped the nonprofit overcome technology hurdles to improve member experience and deliver secure, personalized care.

  • Masked phone numbers made it possible to reduce the number of phone numbers used down to two – a warm main line and a masked phone number that enables peer counselors to call using their personal phones while displaying the main line. Because parents recognize the number calling, they are more likely to answer. 
  • Secure text messaging allows peer counselors to quickly engage families in their preferred communication method. Counselors can proactively check in with a friendly “Hey, how’s it going?” text, and moms can respond by sending a photo of their baby or a breastfeeding sore over a secure, HIPAA-compliant channel. 
  • Video chat facilitates face-to-face conversation when text isn’t enough. Counselors and parents have the option to hop on a video call and talk through any issues the family may be experiencing.
  • Group messaging between family members, peer counselors, and the executive director support collaboration for the entire care team. Additionally, this feature provides the executive director with a new level of oversight, ensuring evidence-based information and consistent messaging are delivered to every family they serve. 

Patient engagement tools help Kodiak Kindness remain mission-focused

Just like the rest of the world, COVID-19 came to the shores of Kodiak Island. Kodiak Kindness remained steadfast in continuing to provide their essential services to the island’s vulnerable families during the lockdowns. While PPE made it possible to safely continue necessary home visits outdoors, TigerConnect’s video chat and secure text capabilities empowered peer counselors to stay in touch with families remotely and reduce potential exposure in the field. 

“TigerConnect secure messaging has really taken our service to another level where we were just so limited before,” said Preece.

TigerConnect’s Patient Engagement solutions fostered two-way communications between counselors and families so that healthy infant feeding was not disrupted. Parents had peace of mind knowing that even during this tumultuous time Kodiak Kindness’ support was just a text away. 

Listen to the podcast to learn more about how TigerConnect Patient Engagement helped Kodiak Kindness modernize communications to better connect their on-the-go care team with new parents in their remote community.

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