March of Dimes and Philips Work Together to Support NICU Families
Local Philips employees assemble kits to benefit families of premature babiesAndover, MA, May 07, 2013
As part of a commitment to support the developmental needs of premature infants, Philips and the March of Dimes are working together to support families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through volunteer events in five cities across the country, including Andover, Monroeville, Atlanta, Stamford, CT, and San Jose. The events are part of a larger sponsorship by Philips Mother & Child Care and the Philips Cares employee volunteer organization to benefit the March of Dimes NICU Family Support® and Close to MeSM programs.
In Andover, the campaign kicked off on May 6 at the offices of Philips Mother & Child Care, which offers specialized infant care products and solutions for babies in the NICU, including developmentally supportive, infant-positioning products, respiratory care products, incubators, warmers, and educational programs for clinicians.
Each year, nearly 500,000 babies are born premature. Born too small and too sick, they may face weeks or even months in the NICU. For parents, the unfamiliar world of the NICU can be overwhelming. To help ease their heartache and fear, the NICU Family Support program offers educational information and comfort to families while their baby is in the hospital.
“Nobody expects their baby to be hospitalized, and so when it does happen, parents often are frightened and confused. We believe some of these supplies will help them through those uncertain first days,” said Alexis Travis, state director of program services. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Philips and thank them for their contribution to the March of Dimes NICU Family Support program, which provides information and comfort to those families in crisis.”
At the May 6 event, Philips employees assembled kits for NICU families, which contain useful items such as a Philips AVENT breast pump, Soothie Pacifiers, Swaddle Cloths, personal care items and information about Kangaroo Care from the March of Dimes. Kangaroo Care, which is fundamental to the NICU Family Support Program, is the practice of a parent holding a diapered baby on his or her bare chest. This skin-to-skin contact benefits both parents and baby and is one of many care practices known as Developmental Care, a clinical practice approach designed to provide a healing environment, manage a baby’s stress and pain, and involve the parents, particularly in the delicate practice of positioning and feeding of premature infants. Developmental Care is focused on minimizing the negative effects of the NICU experience and improving long-term outcomes.
“Philips is in the business of health, well-being, and improving people’s lives. Our Mother & Child Care business is specifically focused on improving the health of mothers and children,” said Greg Sebasky, chairman of Philips North America and executive vice president, business transformation, Philips Healthcare. “Partnering with the March of Dimes to provide comfort to families in the NICU is just a small part of what we can give back to that cause.”
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th anniversary. The organization was founded in January 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A polio sufferer himself, FDR established the organization to “lead, direct and unify” the fight against polio. Today, about 4 million babies are born in the United States each year and the March of Dimes helps each and every one of them through its history of research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.
Philips is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. The company’s Mother & Child Care business is focused on delivering the best care possible – before, during, and after a newborn enters the world – with innovative, clinically proven solutions and the broadest range of support. For more information, visit www.philips.com/motherandchild.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.