The Hardin Memorial Health Foundation and area pediatricians welcomed HMH’s new neonatologists in a very big way this month. The pediatricians and the Foundation presented a $20,000 donation to HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson at a welcome event for the University of Louisville Physicians Neonatology Group.
Two neonatologist with the practice will begin providing round the clock care in September. The new neonatologists along with new equipment will allow HMH to operate as the only fully functioning Level II NICU in Central Kentucky.
Dr. Dan Stewart who leads the neonatology practice was on hand for the welcome event. Stewart is also the Director of Nurseries at Kosair Children’s Hospital and Chief of Pediatrics at University of Louisville Hospital.
Foundation Board Chairman, Joe Prather welcomed the neonatologist and shared why the foundation chose to partner with the pediatricians on this investment.
“This is just the forerunner of many things to come. Investments like this one make our healthcare system even stronger, and make a real difference in the health of our communities,” said Prather.
The HMH Foundation officially launched earlier this month and has chosen the NICU as the first of many breakthrough initiatives to support.
Speaking on behalf of her peers, pediatrician Dr. Linnéa Smith of Kosair Children’s Hospital Medical Associates – Elizabethtown said having a fully operational Level II NICU is something regional pediatricians have long championed.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Stewart’s team on board,” said Smith. “This is so vitally important for the babies in our care. That’s why we chose to step forward as a group and make an investment.”
Smith added that pediatricians wanted to partner with the HMH Foundation because 100 percent of their donation will go directly to the NICU.
“Minutes matter when it comes to providing care for vulnerable babies. This fully operational Level II NICU means babies requiring immediate and specialized care will receive it here at HMH,” Stewart said. “It also means fragile babies can receive ongoing care locally and their families can stay close to home, which facilitates the bonding and healing process.”
HMH President and CEO Dennis Johnson expressed his appreciation for the pediatricians and the Foundation.
“HMH and the communities we serve are fortunate to have wonderful pediatricians willing to step up as well as an active Foundation, to fund these breakthrough projects that are so beneficial to the health of the region,” Johnson said.
Johnson also shared his enthusiasm and appreciation for the new partnership with Stewart’s team, noting that all babies born at BirthPlace will benefit from the NICU’s enhanced capabilities.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Dr. Stewart and his team here today. Their support will raise the level of care for all of the babies born here,” said Johnson. “I’ve known Dan Stewart for more than 20 years and there is no better leader or group of neonatologists. This is a big win for our babies and their families.”
HMH delivered 1,655 babies in 2014 and is seeing an increasing number of births of multiples, which come with an increased potential for complications. HMH ranks 9th in volume out of Kentucky’s 48 delivering hospitals.