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Kosair Charities surprised Hardin Memorial Health Foundation (HMHF) officials with a $200,000 gift for the HMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the only level II NICU in Central Kentucky.
HMHF was expecting a $160,000 grant but at a special ceremony at Hardin Memorial Hospital, Kosair Charities President Randy Coe increased the gift by $40,000.
The grant is the first ever that Kosair Charities has awarded in support of Hardin Memorial Health. Kosair Charities is a Louisville-based philanthropic organization that for more than 90 years has worked to protect the health and well-being of children. Through its grant program, Kosair Charities supports agencies around the state that provide crucial medical care to children.
HMH Foundation (HMHF) officials credited two local civic organizations, the Knights of Columbus 1455 and the Riasok Shrine Club, for their long-standing support to Kosair Charities and their willingness to shine a spotlight on the needs of the HMH NICU.
“For more than a half a century, these two great organizations have hosted the annual Brotherhood Banquet and raised millions of dollars for Kosair Charities,” said HMHF Chairman Joe Prather. “It’s great to see those funds coming back to our communities to help HMH provide care for fragile newborns close to home.”
Prather, along with leaders from both organizations, took part in today’s event, each placing a specially designed panel to form the iconic Kosair Charities Kite.
Kosair Charities’ Randy Coe placed the final panel of the kite.
“Each piece of this kite represents a vital part of the whole,” said Coe. “The result is better care for our region’s children and we couldn’t be more proud of that.”
Riasok’s Chris Knight and Knights of Columbus’ Dr. Mike Nethers said that their organizations took great pride in helping make this grant possible.
“More than 50 years ago, leaders from our two organizations came together around a singular idea; to impact the lives of children in need,” said Knight. “To have our work benefit children in this community means so much.”
Nethers, an obstetrician, who regularly delivers babies at HMH knows first-hand the importance of the NICU. Less than an hour before the ceremony he delivered a baby that in years past would have had to been transported to another hospital for care.
“Minutes matter when it comes to providing care for vulnerable babies,” said Nethers. “Having the NICU here at HMH saves lives and keeps families together. I’m so proud that our two organizations helped make this investment possible.”
With this grant, the independent HMHF has raised more than $600,000 for the NICU over the past 18 months. The NICU was the foundation’s first project.
HMHF invests in breakthrough initiatives that HMH couldn’t otherwise fund.
The Kosair Charities gift will be used to purchase the IntelliVue Patient Monitoring System, two Giraffe Warmers and two Giraffe Omnibeds, all designed to support care for NICU newborns.
The monitoring system will allow neonatologists and the NICU team to monitor all heart, oxygen saturation and respiratory rates as well as blood pressure at the same time, increasing not only safety but the babies’ comfort.
The additional Giraffe Warmers and Omnibeds that newborns need will help support the growing volumes in the Level II NICU. Since the nursery became fully operational last September, the NICU team has cared for more than 150 babies.
HMH delivers more than 1,600 babies annually, making it the 11th busiest out of 48 delivering hospitals in Kentucky.