|Just in time for National Prematurity Awareness Month, The Tiny Miracles Foundation celebrated the opening of its new Family Resource Room for the Bridgeport Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).|
The Tiny Miracles Foundation (TTMF), a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping families with premature babies, funded the renovation and design of the new family resource center for families with babies hospitalized in the NICU. TTMF partnered with Milt Jacoby of The Joan Jacoby Fund, which had previously donated the space as a pediatric waiting room to bring this project to fruition.
The two donors agreed that the underutilized waiting room would better serve both NICU and pediatrics families as a fully-equipped resource lounge, which was desperately needed by NICU families. So with the blessing of Mr. Jacoby, TTMF overhauled the room into a beautiful, convenient and comfortable place for parents to relax, convene, and learn during lengthy NICU visits.
This resource room will benefit the families of more than 450 babies who pass through the Bridgeport NICU each year.
Since parent involvement in the care of premature newborns is critical to the improved health and development of fragile preterm babies, one of the many goals of TTMF’s Family Resource Room is to encourage parents to visit more often and for longer periods of time so they can participate more readily in their infant’s care. As such, the resource lounge offers a comfortable and convenient amenities and educational resources to encourage such visitation and use.
Features include a comfortable seating area with TV, DVD, computer, internet, sibling toys and a play corner, plus a kitchenette, private bathroom, and parent lockers. In addition, the lounge is stocked with a library of educational, informational and inspirational books, materials and resources for the families of premature babies in the NICU. Tiny Miracles Foundation volunteer mentors who visit the Bridgeport NICU weekly can now meet with parents in the resource room and will restock the library and children’s corner as needed.
The Family Resource Room Dedication and Grand Opening Ceremony was hosted by the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation on November 16. The celebration was attended by hospital leaders, neonatal and pediatric physicians, NICU staff and NICU graduates, as well as Milt Jacoby and members of the Jacoby family, and The Tiny Miracles Foundation directors, volunteers and donors. Speakers, including Bridgeport Hospital President and CEO Bill Jennings, Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab and Director of Development Susan Chudwick, and Tiny Miracles Foundation President Elizabeth Klein and Executive Director Gwen Noto, emphasized the essential need the new Family Resource Room satisfies and the exemplary spirit of collaboration exhibited by the people and organizations involved in the project.
According to the March of Dimes, premature birth is the most common, serious, and costly infant health problem facing our nation today. Currently, one in ten babies is born prematurely in Connecticut, many of whom face a myriad of life-threatening medical complications and risk a lifetime of disabilities and mental, physical and medical challenges.
Not surprisingly, the experience of a preterm birth can take an enormous toll on parents, including post traumatic stress disorder, extreme stress and anxiety, depression, uncertainty, guilt, fear, isolation, grief, financial hardship, job and work loss, and strain on marriages and family relationships.
With these critical needs in mind, The Tiny Miracles Foundation’s programs and services provide vital emotional support, financial assistance, education, equipment, supplies, resources and referrals to strengthen families of premature children as they navigate through their ordeal of a premature birth in the NBICU and care for and raise their preterm children at home in the years ahead.
For more information about The Tiny Miracles Foundation, please visit www.ttmf.org, or contact TTMF at 203-202-9714 or firstname.lastname@example.org.