First Lady of Florida Ann Scott holds 13-hour-old Annabelle Goodale-Montes during a visit to Morton Plant Hospital last week.
CLEARWATER - Ann Scott, wife of Governor Rick Scott and the First Lady of Florida, recently visited Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater to promote her Love.Read.Learn book, a scrapbook-style journal filled with reading and learning tips, plus child wellness information.
The journal is being distributed at no cost to new parents at hospitals throughout the state, with more than 200,000 free journals being provided to parents statewide over the next year. The effort is in partnership with the Volunteer USA Foundation and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Morton Plant was selected as the third hospital in the state being visited by the First Lady.
The First Lady was greeted by Lisa Johnson, Morton Plant Mease vice president of patient services, and was brought up to obstetrics unit on Witt 7. There she was greeted by nurse managers Teena McCullough and Lashelle Leftheris. The First Lady briefly chatted with four new mothers and gave them copies of Love.Read.Learn.
The journals are designed to be one of the first gifts a child receives, reinforcing the state’s commitment to literacy and health.
“I love being a mom and now a grandmother, but I remember what it was like to be a new parent filled with questions about my baby’s health and development. I wanted to create a baby journal that would help new parents in Florida raise healthy kids who have a love of learning, as well as provide a way for parents to document their baby’s special moments and milestones,” said Scott.
Last year, Morton Plant was earned “Baby-Friendly” hospital status from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts to support mothers’ decision to breast feed.