Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fight for Preemies

I am proud to write about the two outstanding medical centers that we have in Springfield, MO, CoxHealth Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital. Both have excellent Neonatal Intensive Care Units, caring for premature infants and babies with severe health issues.

St. John’s has a tremendous page on their website that tells more about their services. The following is an excerpt from their site.
For more information about St. Johns, click here

As the region's premier Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, St. John's provides comprehensive care to newborns requiring medical treatment for prematurity, congenital diseases, and surgical care. Our Goal is to provide compassionate, family-centered health care to our babies - helping them achieve their fullest potential.
Be sure to follow the many links on the NICU page to find out all the many service St. John’s provides, information for parents of preemies, and read about the success stories.

One of the most rewarding opportunities for volunteers is the NICU HOLD program. Again, the following was taken from their website.

HOLD volunteers are dedicated, loving helpers that are carefully screened, specifically trained, and always supervised by the nurses. They will be in the NICU to hold and rock babies who are in stable medical condition when parents are not available. 

CoxHealth Medical Center holds a special interest to me and my husband Bruce since his is on the auxiliary board. (He volunteers 2-3 days a week there also.) Recently he told me about a funding request from the NICU department. The Cuddle Therapy Coordinator asked for a grant for training in infant touch/massage. Then volunteers would be trained in techniques also in infant touch/massage. I am happy to say they were approved.

In the application, it was pointed out that while hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent each year for equipment, medicine, etc to bring the newest and best technology to babies, human touch is still very important. Touch therapy for preterm infants’ benefits in numerous ways, such as increased weight gain, earlier discharge from hospital and much more.

More than 500 infants receive life-saving care in the NICU at CoxHealth each year. On their site, there are wonderful success stories from the graduates. To read them, click here.

Note: I have very little knowledge or experience with preemies, although the years have known friends who had little ones. I am proud to join The March of Dimes with this blog.

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