The Hardin Memorial Health Foundation received its first national grant from Brave Beginnings for the HMH Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in May 2016. The $50,000 gift is the first Brave Beginnings grant to any Kentucky hospital or foundation. The funds will be used to purchase equipment to better monitor and support HMH’s most fragile newborns – preemies.
Brave Beginnings is a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and works to ensure ventilators and life-saving neonatal equipment are always available to newborns in critical need. Each year, a Hollywood movie star lends its support to the program. The 2016 spokesperson is actor Liam Hemsworth, who stars in “Independence Day: Resurgence,” currently in theaters.
“This first national grant is another exciting accomplishment for the HMH Foundation and even better news for HMH babies and families,” said Joe Prather, chairman of the HMH Foundation Board of Directors. “In a little more than 18 months, we’ve raised over $500,000 for our first project, the region’s only fully-operational Level II NICU.”
Prather emphasized that the foundation’s work is focused on keeping HMH strong with investments in breakthrough initiatives that the healthcare system couldn’t otherwise fund.
The Brave Beginnings grant will be used to purchase a central cardiorespiratory monitoring system that will allow the medical staff to observe all NICU babies at once and a vein viewer to see the preemies’ tiny veins better.
“We’ve kept over 140 babies close to their homes since September. This equipment helps us tremendously in our growing NICU,” said HMH Neonatologist Chukwuma Nnorom, M.D. “We are grateful to the HMH Foundation and the Brave Beginnings program for this grant.”
Brave Beginnings has provided over $3.9 million to 78 medical facilities around the country including those in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.. HMH was one of 29 hospitals across the nation receiving a grant this year.
According to Todd Vradenburg, executive director of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, HMH was an excellent fit for a Brave Beginnings grant as the NICU continues to grow and serves one-tenth of Kentucky’s population.
“Brave Beginnings believes that every child deserves a fighting chance, and we know that babies in Central Kentucky are thriving close to home thanks to the HMH NICU,” Vradenburg said. “We are proud to help equip them with critical technology like the vein viewer that lessens trauma and keeps babies more comfortable.”