Since its inception, the Agency’s Healthy Families program has been recognized as one of the premier programs in the state by our funding sources and families.

At it’s annual Celebration Day held on June 16, 2016, The Children’s Trust, which in part funds the Healthy Families programs statewide, recognized People, Incorporated’s Healthy Families program and awarded the Healthy Families staff with the “Groups Award”. “This is an accomplishment all of us are very proud of and none of our success could be achieved without the compassion, dedication and mission-driven individuals we employ”, stated Bill Perkins, CEO of People, Incorporated. “We are so proud of the work our team does and are thrilled that they have been recognized at the state level too. Further, it is with great pride that the Director of our Agency’s Healthy Families Program, JoAnne Vital Bernier, was recognized and awarded the Vanguard Award for her unyielding work and advocacy for the children and the families we serve in our program.”

Steve Pascal, Program Specialist from The Children’s Trust had the honor of announcing the Vanguard Award recipient at yesterday’s celebratory event. Steve noted, in part, “By definition, Vanguard means: the leading position in any movement or field, or the people who occupy such a position. However, what this definition does not say is that sometimes leaders don't choose to be in these positions, but find themselves there nonetheless. Usually this happens because they gain the confidence of others who recognize their ability and value their judgment. As a result, they get asked to do a whole lot of things they probably don't want to do, but still take them on because they understand the bigger picture.

This year's award winner is being recognized for her continual willingness to accept new responsibilities into uncharted territory. Not only have she and her team begun many journeys with us, they have eventually lead the way, leaving markers on a path for others to follow. This person continues to lead a strong Healthy Families program team, while they've also successfully helped pilot several initiates like: the universal one-time home visiting program Welcome Family, the Medical Legal Partnership, and the Choices in Childbirth and Co-Parenting group series, all of which will be expanding to other programs throughout the state.

She is a constant advocate for her staff, with a steady and calm demeanor, and a pleasure to work with. It is with great enthusiasm that I announce and present the Vanguard Award to JoAnne Vital Bernier, Director of Healthy Families, People, Incorporated.”

People, Incorporated’s Greater Fall River Healthy Families program provides education, support, resources and referrals to first time parents of any age who reside in Fall River through home visits and support groups. The program provides the same services to first time parents who are 20 years of age and younger, residing in the communities of Westport, Somerset and Swansea or any age mother living in Fall River. Providing home visits designed to meet the families’ needs during the pregnancy and up to the child’s third birthday, we are committed to providing support to parents through the development of individual service plans that identify specific goals they want to achieve while in the program.