Families with babies who need special care for the first part of their life will now be able to view those babies 24 hours a day even if the family member is separated by distance or illness.
The Hardin Memorial Health Foundation has received a grant from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (HOKC) to provide new technology that helps families bond with their babies in our newly opened Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The $36,750 award will allow HMH to purchase a new monitoring system called NicView for each of the new NICU beds. The web-based device, developed in Kentucky, allows geographically separated families as well as immobile mothers who delivered by cesarean section, to monitor the care of and interact with their newborns.
One monitor will also be used in labor and delivery allowing fathers and family who cannot attend the birth to be virtually present.
HMH Chief Development Officer Tracee Troutt, touted the support HMH Foundation board members personally showed regarding this grant application.
“Seven HMH Foundation board members, who are Kentucky Colonels, signed and endorsed the application,” said Troutt. “This not only speaks to their passion for babies and families, but it also shows the caliber of our board.”
The title of “Kentucky Colonel” is the highest civilian honor the Governor of the Commonwealth can bestow.
Foundation Secretary and Donor Development Committee chair Dr. Bill Nash is a Kentucky Colonel and who co-signed the endorsement. Nash also represented the 23-person Board at the grant presentation earlier this month at Louisville’s Kentucky Derby Museum.
“This grant helps HMH dramatically improve care for mothers and babies. These kind of “game changing” projects excite us and will keep HMH strong now and for generations to come,” said Nash.
Nash is an Army veteran, as is fellow board member retired Maj. Gen. John Tindall. Both found the investment particularly compelling because of the benefit it provides to the region’s military families.
“There’s nothing quite like seeing your baby’s face at birth. That’s a joyous moment that our deployed service members have often missed out on,” Tindall said. “But now, thanks to the Kentucky Colonels and their Good Works Program, they can be there from the very start.”
HMH CEO Dennis Johnson echoed Tindall’s sentiments. “In addition to the clinical benefits that the equipment will offer to help support bonding between babies and their families, this investment will help HMH deliver the best possible care,” said Johnson.
Earlier this year, the Hardin Memorial Health Board of Trustees approved plans for a major investment in the hospital’s BirthPlace Unit, allowing HMH to operate as the region’s only Level II NICU. Two teaching neonatologists from the University of Louisville Physicians Neonatology Group provide 24-hour coverage to the six-bed NICU, which opened this month.
The HMH Foundation has helped raise more than $400,000 in grants and donations for the NICU.
HMH delivered 1655 babies in 2014 and is seeing an increasing number of births of multiples, which come with an increased potential for complications. HMH ranks 9th out of the 48 delivering hospitals in Kentucky.