When the pandemic hit, clinicians and staff at Monument Health Spearfish Clinic in South Dakota started screening patients and families more carefully during appointments, asking questions about essential needs such as food and diapers. The health care team identified one thing that parents with babies said they needed most: diapers.
So staff started donating diapers and storing them in the office of Rosie Oakley, M.D., a pediatrician at the clinic and at Monument Health Spearfish Hospital.
Turns out this need was more widespread across the close-knit, rural community of Spearfish. In fact, the National Diaper Bank Network says one in three U.S. families “struggles to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry and healthy.”
In response, Sheriann Hudson, Dr. Oakley’s nurse, is now working with Bella Pregnancy Resource Center in Spearfish to establish a consistent location where people in the community can pick up donated diapers and wipes. Monument Health also hosted a diaper drive during National Diaper Need Awareness Week in late September that benefited local diaper banks.
Dr. Oakley described the impact of these donations: “I think when you live in a tight-knit community, it’s important to do everything to maintain that ‘We’re all in this together’ mentality. The little things we can do that may not even be that big from a financial standpoint can have a profound impact on someone’s mental health.”
Read the full Spearfish story.