WHAS Crusade for Children awarded Hardin Memorial Hospital two grants totaling more than $346,000 today to purchase equipment and help fund renovations to HMH’s BirthPlace Unit. The renovations are part of plans that will allow HMH’s BirthPlace to operate fully as a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
WHAS Crusade for Children President and CEO Dawn Lee made the check presentation today to a standing room only crowd at HMH.
The grants will fund $76,000 for NICU equipment and $270,000 in NICU/BirthPlace renovations. The gift will help fund investments such as a renovated waiting room and formula room as well as an LED phototherapy system to treat jaundice, equipment used in infant resuscitation, a bed that is both an incubator and radiant warmer and a sterile tubing welder, which allows blood, a precious resource, to be preserved in smaller units, preventing waste when a newborn needs a transfusion. HMH, where more than 1,600 babies are born each year, received the largest single award and the third largest amount of all 191 Crusade grant recipients this year.
“WHAS Crusade for Children has a long history of supporting HMH,” said HMH CEO Dennis Johnson. “Today is a celebration for the babies this investment will impact and an opportunity to thank WHAS Crusade for Children for their longstanding commitment to our kids health and well-being.”
Since 2002, the WHAS Crusade for Children has enabled HMH to make $230,000 in important investments that help provide children and their families the best possible care close to home. With two teaching neonatologists ready to provide 24-hour coverage and run an HMH team this September, this gift helps HMH secure the equipment and make the renovations needed to provide all babies born at HMH the care they need.
Johnson spoke of how this grant aligned with HMH’s strategic vision to invest in facilities, recruit first-in-class physicians and provide the highest level of care to the more than 400,000 people HMH serves throughout the 10-county region.
“This is transformational for HMH,” said HMH Foundation Board Chairman Joe Prather. “I believe there is nothing more important in our communities than accessible, quality healthcare, and this is exactly the type of investment that the Hardin Memorial Hospital Foundation is all about.”
Prather said the HMH Foundation will continue to pursue funding for the NICU and other breakthrough initiatives that enhance the health of the communities HMH serves.
“We are thrilled to make this investment in the lives of babies who are born at HMH,” said Lee. “When we learned about HMH’s plans to raise the level of care for this region, we knew it was an ideal investment to help this region’s most fragile children.”
Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright spoke about uplifting care for all babies. “This investment will allow us to keep babies, moms and families together here at their home hospital, and it will uplift care for all babies at HMH. said Wright.
“It will save a lot of heartache,” mother Danielle VanderMolen said of the expansion. She and her husband, Jon, welcomed twins, daughter Parker and son Ellis, at HMH in February. The day after the birth, Parker was transported to Kosair Children’s Hospital for treatment for her underdeveloped lungs. Danielle stayed at HMH with Ellis. Jon traveled every day to be with Parker. During Parker’s 15-day stay at Kosair, Danielle was able to visit her once.
“I knew it was what Parker needed, but it just broke my heart because I had this baby and I couldn’t see her or hold her or do anything,” she said.
HMH Chief Development Officer Tracee Troutt, who oversees the HMH Foundation, noted how the grant and the opportunity to expand the NICU exemplify how community support and collaboration accomplishes great things. She recognized the firefighters and HMH employees who helped raise money for the annual telethon, many of whom attended the announcement. One of those firefighters was Jon VanderMolen, who collects for the WHAS Crusade for Children every year with the Radcliff Fire Department.
“WHAS Crusade for Children has been a game changer for how we care for children at HMH,” said Troutt. “This is a wonderful example of what all of us working together can accomplish for communities,”
In May, the Hardin Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees approved plans for the investment in the hospital’s BirthPlace Unit that includes the renovations and the addition of two teaching neonatologists from the University of Louisville Physicians Neonatology Group to support a six-bed unit beginning in September of this year. Dr. Dan Stewart, who is Director of Nurseries at Kosair Children’s Hospital and Chief of Pediatrics at University of Louisville Hospital, will oversee the neonatologists.