Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 12: 26 Days of March of Dimes

NICU Family Support

Finn and the Weavers are so THANKFUL we were in a hospital with a March of Dimes NICU Family Support person on staff!  It was not until I left and got home and started talking to other people about their NICU journeys that I realized how truly LUCKY we were to be where we had one.  Julie was such an INCREDIBLE blessing to me, to Finn, and to our entire family!  I wish everyone could be in a facility with a coordinator like her!

What the Family Support program is all about:
      We work to improve the health of babies across the country.
            Programs are aimed at supporting moms-to-be and professionals.
                  We offer comfort and support to families with a baby in the NICU.

March of Dimes services in the NICU

The hospital-based NICU Family Support® program provides information and comfort to families during the NICU hospitalization of their newborn, during the transition home, and in the event of a newborn death; contributes to NICU staff professional development; and promotes the philosophy of family-centered care in NICUs. NICU Family Support is present in more than 100 hospitals offering services to more than 75,000 families each year.

NICU Family Support Level I Program
The Level I Program provides NICU families and staff with supportive print materials in English and Spanish from the March of Dimes that they can take home, and a unique webpage with access to information on procedures and conditions common in the NICU on both the March of Dimes and the hospital’s websites. Parents and family members also can connect with other families who share the NICU experience by accessing NICU staff have access to online forums and webinars that allow partner hospitals in our network of NICU Family Support sites to exchange best practices and innovations.

NICU Family Support Level II Program
The Level II Program provides training, technical support, tools and materials to your NICU staff to assist them in supporting families. The Program includes everything in Level I as well as other added benefits. Hospitals will receive an in-depth assessment of the state of family support in their NICUs with recommendations for change and ongoing site management by national March of Dimes staff. Also offered are innovative, family-centered seminars focused on parent-staff communication, caring for families in crisis, and caregiver fatigue for NICU staff, led by expert March of Dimes trainers.

What our network members are saying
“The March of Dimes has set the standard for NICU family support across the nation. The program has been a model for the hospital-wide family support program, and I am proud that our site has been a model for others around the country as well.”
- Dr. Billie Short, Chief, Division of Neonatology Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

“This program has enabled us to connect parents of NICU graduates to parents with babies in the NICU through walks, meals and conversations. We’ve created a Family-Staff Advisory Council to bring family feedback into our planning and decisions. We are connecting parents with counselors to treat depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
- Dr. John Evered, NICU Medical Director, Saint Charles Medical Center, Bend, Ore. 


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