NICU HonoreesThe March of Dimes Newborn ICU Family Support Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) received a national Project of the Year award from the sponsoring organization. The Family Support Program enhances family-centered care and support for families. It began in 2007 and serves 800 families a year by:

  • Providing information and comfort to families during the newborn ICU hospitalization of their newborn, during the transition home, and in the event of a newborn death
  • Promoting the philosophy of family-centered care
  • Offering activities for families, including parent care kits, weekly educational parent lunch hours, sibling activities, bedside family photography, teen parent education classes, holiday activities, newborn ICU family dinner nights and bedside support
  • Using more than 100 volunteers as support staff
  • Contributing to newborn ICU staff professional development

Program achievements include increasing parental participation in medical rounds, developing and piloting core curriculum classes for parent education hours, and involving more than 150 volunteers who contributed about 1,200 hours of time annually.

Jennifer Schum, March of Dimes regional director, says, “The program here is an extraordinary leader within our network of 132 partner hospitals nationally. It’s an outstanding example of depth, quality and impact.”

Adds Susan Bushnell, March of Dimes Missouri Chapter director, “Through our partnership with Children’s Hospital, families receive exceptional support, information and comfort during their newborn ICU experience.”

Leaders and supporters of the program honored were:

  • Lori Goser, March of Dimes newborn ICU family support specialist and program leader
  • F. Sessions Cole, MD, SLCH chief medical officer and newborn medicine director, a long-term national March of Dimes board member
  • Christine Hessler and LaToya Daughrity, newborn ICU co-managers
  • Reggi Rideout, newborn ICU graduate parent and volunteer
  • Renee Fishering, NNP, staff volunteer