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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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  • We offer comfort to families with a newborn in intensive care.
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    Helping Families in the NICU

    The hospitalization of a newborn in the intensive care unit can be one of the most frightening experiences a parent can face. In response to this experience, the March of Dimes created the NICU Family Support program. NICU Family Support integrates the mission of the March of Dimes into a direct service program for families currently experiencing this birth crisis. NICU Family Support is designed to complement existing services in the NICUs, and to develop programs that the hospitals have been unable to enhance due to limitations of staff, resources and time. NICU Family Support is in more than 100 hospitals across the country and is offered in every state, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. 

    The three major goals of NICU Family Support are:

    • Provide information and comfort to families during the NICU hospitalization of their newborn, during the transition home, and in the event of a newborn death
    • Contribute to NICU staff professional development
    • Promote the philosophy of family-centered care

    The NICU Family Support program has been shown to have a positive impact on the stress level, comfort level and parenting confidences of NICU families. Additionally it enhances the presence of and the receptivity of staff to family-centered characteristics in partnering NICUs. This success has been accomplished through the incorporation of 8 components:

    • A Chapter NICU Action Committee (CNAC)
      Serves as the decision making entity for the program
    • Trained NICU Family Support Specialist
      Leads the March of Dimes program in the host hospital
    • March of Dimes Parent Care Kits
      Informative and supportive booklets distributed to NICU families
    • Support Module Selection and Development
      CNAC decides what areas of support will be focused on
    • Direct Services to NICU Families
      Such as one-on-one support, family events, holiday celebrations, NICU reunions
    • Parent to Parent Volunteer Recruitment
      Helping engage former NICU families to help current NICU families
    • Staff Professional Education Offerings
      Provided at least once a year to host hospital NICU staff
    • Ongoing Evaluation of the Program
      Satisfaction surveys are routinely collected and used for quality improvement

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