Source: By Emma Kennedy, The News-Enterprise
As Hardin Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit celebrates its first birthday today, the hospital’s staff also is celebrating another win for the center.
What was advertised as the handover of a $160,000 check to the local NICU from Kosair Charities on Wednesday turned into a surprise increase of $40,000 with the scribble of a marker.
The room erupted in applause and gasps as Kosair Charities board member Randy Coe said the original idea of donating $160,000 over two years didn’t seem to be enough, so he asked what a better price would be and wrote $200,000 onto the check.
The donation was through Kosair Charities, but also included contributions from the Knights of Columbus 1455 and the Riasok Shrine Club for their efforts.
NICU Associate Nurse Manager Katie Sandidge said since the unit opened Sept. 1, 2015, it has served more than 150 babies with its six licensed beds.
She said the grant money will go toward two more Giraffe Omnibeds, adding to the three the unit already has, as well as an IntelliVue monitoring system and two Giraffe Warmers, which help support growing volumes on the floor.
The monitoring too close system will allow neonatologists to monitor heart, oxygen, saturation and respiratory rates as well as blood pressure at the same time.
“Each baby has a monitor at their bed, but the one they’re providing goes into the operating room, so there’s no time a baby isn’t being monitored, if needed,” Sandidge said.
Sandidge said in its first year in operation, the overall response she’s heard from patient families is the appreciation of staying at home.
“We hear all the time from most all of our patients that ‘I’m so glad we can stay here because it would be an expense with gas to go back and forth,’ (especially) if they have other children at home,” Sandidge said.
She recently said there was a family staying at HMH’s NICU who had been at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville and was transferred to Hardin County for the remainder of its stay because the care could be kept at home.
HMH Foundation Chairman Joe Prather said the foundation’s effort over the past year of the NICU’s operation to funnel roughly $600,000 to the unit was a service to the community.
“There is nothing that is dearer to my heart and the hearts I know of everyone in this room than little children who need our help, who need first-rate medical care,” he said. “This has served our people and served (them) well. … If you’ve been down to the NICU and seen these little babies, they melt your heart.”
Wednesday’s grant announcement was the first from Kosair Charities in support of Hardin Memorial Health.