Hope to Health (H2H) members met virtually on April 27, 2020, to hear from representatives of El Camino Health’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), their 2020 grant recipient. Dr. Stephanie Miller, neonatologist and co-lead of the Family Centered Care Committee, and Jody Charles, RN, clinical manager of the NICU and maternal child education, talked about the anticipated impact of the two programs H2H is funding this year, Reach Out And Read (ROAR) and nurse education and research to reduce chronic lung disease.
Newborns in the NICU, especially premature babies, are at risk for delayed neurological development. Parent contact, including holding and vocal interaction, is proven to improve long-term outcomes for the infants while also reducing parental depression and anxiety. Through the ROAR reading program, each newborn’s family will receive a book bag with the ROAR/El Camino Health logo, a children’s book in either English or Spanish, and a hands-free breast pumping strap to assist the mother with pumping while holding and reading to her baby. Dr. Miller announced that the first book to be distributed will be newly released The Magical Yet.
Reducing lung disease in very low birth weight infants will be another top priority for neonatal intensive care unit staff over the next five years. Hope to Health’s second grant will provide funding for NICU nurses to attend local and national conferences and workshops, where they will be introduced to the latest evidence-based practice, which they can then share with colleagues. As our NICU nurses implement changes and see improvement, they will submit their own abstracts to journals and conferences so they can share the effective approaches they develop with other organizations. In addition to improving care for these at-risk newborns, the grant will help El Camino Health meet its goal of maintaining Magnet designation for nursing excellence.
Following the formal presentation, the members enjoyed catching up with each other as they shared some quarantine humor and exchanged tips on grocery delivery services and other strategies for managing during shelter in place. They all agreed the Zoom get-together was a great way to lift spirits. “Today’s meeting was informative, filled with positivity for using the grant funds,” Los Altos Hills resident Barbara Bogomilsky commented.
Hope to Health is a philanthropic council of individuals who pool their donations annually and choose which El Camino Heath program focused on women and families that they wish to philanthropically support. The more members, the greater their impact and new members are always welcome. Contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-988-4189 if you would like to learn more.