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March of Dimes - Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    Minnesota Chapter Launches Second NICU Family Support Program

    Danielle Prenevost, March of Dimes, (612) 326-9444, dprenevost@marchofdimes.com

    Minneapolis, MN, November 15, 2013 —

    University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital is expanding support services for some of its sickest and smallest patients and their families by partnering with the March of Dimes to implement the first NICU Family Support® program in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. This program provides enhanced information and comfort to families of premature and other critically ill newborns being cared for in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital is one of only two hospitals in the state of Minnesota to offer March of Dimes NICU Family Support.

    “Every family hopes for an easy delivery and first days for their baby. But approximately one in 10 newborns are admitted to a newborn intensive care unit,” said University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital President and March of Dimes board member Kathie Taranto. “It can be frightening, confusing and overwhelming for parents at first. We are proud to partner with the March of Dimes on this program to give comfort and information to those families, and to ease their fears.”

    University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital will host a reunion for patients and families to reconnect and learn about the new program Sunday, November 17 in the hospital lobby from 1-4 pm.  The reunion will feature games, food and activities for children and their parents. More than 400 people are planning to attend.

    Incorporating NICU families into every level of the program, March of Dimes NICU Family Support® addresses the needs of families throughout the hospitalization, during the transition home, and in the event of a newborn death.

    NICU Family Support® is led by March of Dimes staff member Ashleigh Moelter. As a NICU Family Support® Specialist, Ashleigh works closely with each patient family – providing support for stressed parents and confused siblings and answers to concerns. The NICU Family Support® Specialist provides parents with materials such as the Parent Care Kit, which introduces them to the staff, equipment, procedures and conditions they may encounter while their baby is in the NICU as well as encourages parents to participate and be involved as primary caregivers of their baby.

    NICU Family Support® also includes a professional development component to provide hospital NICU staff with support and educational opportunities.  An advisory committee made up of graduate NICU parents and professionals are involved in selecting activities and providing direct services to current families.

    About University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital
    University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital is a 257-bed facility with a pediatric emergency department. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital opened in 2011 and provides patient- and family-centered care for mothers and children in more than 50 specialties.

    About March of Dimes
    In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life.  Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive.  Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects.  About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted the March of Dimes life saving research and education.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, 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.  Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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