About March of Dimes NICU Innovation
NICU Innovation seeks to improve the long-term health outcome of NICU graduates by focusing on improving the families’ NICU experience. We do this through the implementation of an established set of resources designed to advance communication, collaboration and partnership between families, health care organizations and the March of Dimes. The main focus of NICU Innovation is implementation of the program of NICU Family Support, education through the NICU Training Institute, and the online community ShareYourStory.org.
The March of Dimes NICU Family Support® (NFS) program offers information and support to NICU families. Since the inception of three pilot programs in 2001, the program has expanded to over 100 NICUs across 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. March of Dimes partners with NICUs to implement services designed to make the NICU experience better. NICU Family Support is implemented by a March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program Coordinator who provides education, information and bedside support to families. Some hospitals choose to only distribute printed materials and provide online access to information and education, but regardless of how hospitals choose to collaborate with us, we work together to improve the NICU experience for families. When families leave the NICU, hospitals can refer them to ShareYourStory.org, the March of Dimes online community for NICU families. This free resource allows families to connect with each other around shared experiences.
Share Your Story
For almost 14 years, the March of Dimes online community Share Your Story (ShareYourStory.org) has been an invaluable resource for families to find support from other members who are living with the effects of prematurity, birth defects, newborn or pregnancy loss.
ShareYourStory.org provides families with a safe environment for them to share their stories, find and provide emotional/parent-to-parent support and ask questions of other mission-affected families and March of Dimes health education professionals. It also has a team of 45 volunteers, March of Dimes technical staff and a licensed social worker who maintain and manage the site 24/7/365 and make sure that all users feel welcomed and every single post has at least three answers.