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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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    N.C. Children’s Hospital named March of Dimes NICU Family Support Project of the Year

    Raleigh, NC, April 29, 2011 —

    The March of Dimes has named the NICU Family Support® program at North Carolina Children’s Hospital the 2010 NICU Family Support Project of the Year. The award recognizes excellence in meeting the goals of the NICU Family Support program: supporting NICU families and staff; producing high-quality results; and demonstrating leadership within the chapter, hospital and among NICU Family Support sites.

    “Thousands of families have been through our Newborn Critical Care Center since the March of Dimes chose North Carolina Children's Hospital as the first site in the state to implement NICU Family Support almost four years ago,” said Dr. Alan Stiles, chief physician of N.C. Children’s Hospital. “As a neonatologist, I saw how the program benefited families right from the start, so to learn our program is distinguished among more than 100 similar programs around the country has special meaning to me.”

    “The March of Dimes selected North Carolina Children’s Hospital as its partner for NICU Family Support because of its reputation for excellence and the quality care it provides to babies,” said March of Dimes Board Chair Laura Dillard. “We are proud of Tara Bristol and the NICU Family Support team for winning this award for their outstanding performance in providing comfort to families during their babies’ NICU stays at UNC Hospitals.”

    NICU Family Support® uses parent-to-parent support to address the unique emotional needs of families of premature babies and other critically ill newborns being cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Guided by former NICU families and led by a March of Dimes staff person who has experience as a NICU parent, the program is built on a family-centered philosophy and addresses the needs of families throughout the hospitalization, during the transition home and in the event of a newborn death. The program also offers a professional development component for caregivers, providing educational opportunities to help them sensitively support families on a daily basis.

    Since its launch in September 2007, the NICU Family Support program at N.C. Children’s Hospital demonstrated an extraordinary partnership between the March of Dimes and UNC Hospitals. Out of this relationship have come system-wide changes in family-centered care in the Newborn Critical Care Center, including enhanced parent participation and 24/7 parent presence in the NICU, even at shift change. The award recognizes these advances as well as an innovative video project. The hospital collaborated with a NICU family to develop a transformative video on preventable infections in newborns, the result of which has been a staggering decrease in catheter-associated blood stream infections.

    NICU family support specialist Tara Bristol accepted the 2010 NICU Family Support Project of the Year award on behalf of N.C. Children’s Hospital at the recent 24th Annual Gravens Conference on the Physical & Developmental Environment of the High Risk Infant held in Clearwater, FL.


    North Carolina Children's Hospital protects the health and well-being of North Carolina's 2.1 million children by aligning premier health care practitioners, world-class medical education, and innovative, interdisciplinary research to provide the highest-quality, family-centered care, regardless of their families' abilities to pay. As a major referral center for children with complex or chronic conditions, N.C. Children's Hospital works hand-in-hand with community hospitals and pediatricians across the state, providing specialty care to more than 70,000 children from all 100 counties each year.

    N.C. Children's Hospital offers complete pediatric inpatient and outpatient care in its 140-bed state-of-the-art facility at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and at more than 25 satellite outpatient clinics throughout North Carolina. The Children's Hospital's world-class physicians, nurses and other clinical staff represent all pediatric subspecialties and are capable of treating children with virtually any disease or disorder. Visit www.ncchildrenshospital.org.

    The March of Dimes NICU Family Support® project is now established in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. With 107 sites currently in operation, more than 300,000 families have been served and supported through NICU Family Support in the past ten years.

    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.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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