NICU Family Support Program
St. Luke's puts parents and their babies at the center of the child's NICU care team, encouraging parents' presence, input and participation. A developmental care specialist and team provides an individualized developmental care plan (NIDCAP) for each baby, and we encourage parents to stay in the NICU room to remain close to their baby.
NICU Family Support Program
The NICU Family Support Program provides information and emotional support to families of critically ill newborns who are cared for in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Throughout a baby's NICU hospital stay, during the transition from NICU to home, as well as in the event of a child's death, we offer:
- Family Support Liaison - a specialist who has personally experienced having a baby in the NICU and works closely with families to help them throughout their time spent in the NICU.
- Educational materials - provide resources you need throughout your time in the NICU as well as your transition home - including materials for Spanish-speaking families.
- Programs and activities - include a photo keepsake, pizza party and scrapbooking.
- Online information, resources and communities - available 24/7.
For more information on the NICU Family Support program e-mail us or call (319) 369-8208.
PODCAST EPISODE: Support During a NICU Stay
Karla Pisarik, family support liaison at St. Luke's Center for Women's and Children's Health, joins Dr. Dustin Arnold, chief medical officer, to discuss support during a NICU stay.
NICU Family Support Stories
We hear from so many families about their stay at St. Luke's NICU. Here are a few of their comments.
"I also wanted to thank you again for everything. You made a great impact on my children, there isn't a day that goes by that you aren't talked about (all good, of course) or thought about. You helped us through a very difficult time in our lives and it helped us to realize that we were not alone. Thank you again."
"It is a wonderful program. Karla does an excellent job of making it function properly, helping in all situations, and she listens, which, in my opinion, is very much needed since she has been through this experience."
"Top of the line"
"I would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the NICU staff for taking such excellent care of our Granddaughter, Rainee Kae. We are so very happy the Waverly Health Center chose your hospital for Rainee to be transferred to. I would also like to thank the Nurse, Respiratory Therapist, and Helicopter Pilot for their extreme Professional (and Personal) care to all of us! You were all TOP OF THE LINE in every area of care! If it were not for you, we would not have our beautiful granddaughter alive and doing well today. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!"
"More than just a job"
"I want to give a shout out to St. Luke's Hospital for granting its 2008 Excellence Award recently to RT Jenny B. Really, St Luke's, how did you choose? You must have been up nights trying to decide among all your amazing employees, especially the ones who work in the NICU and Respiratory Therapy.
Employee' is actually a poor description for so many of these folks. They live their work. They're professional. They're caring. They're excellent.
But I mention the Excellence Award here because Jenny got it for doing something nice for Thomas and our family.
Here's a little peek into our scrapbook. The day before Thomas transferred hospitals, Jenny and the other RTs presented us with the blue blanket you see on little Baby Thomas in this photo.
The blanket is one of our favorites and gets used all the time. Every time I see it, I smile, because way back last summer Thomas was frequently getting his bed made with a different blanket, a beautiful quilt borrowed from Molly's Closet. It had police cars, ambulances and fire trucks on it. Another RT, Jen Y., knew I really liked it and was trying to figure out a way for Thomas to take it home as a souvenir after his hospital stay. In the end, it didn't work out. Instead, Jenny B.'s mother-in-law hand-sewed some cute material decorated with fire trucks into a blanket and the RTs gave it to us right before we shipped off for the new hospital. Getting that kind of care during a tough time is truly touching and I will never forget how loved we felt when we got that blanket.
We're not the only ones who feel this way. We still follow some twins who were in the NICU with Thomas last summer, and their family was featured in the Spring 2009 issue of the hospital's magazine. Ethan and Allison's dad hit the nail on the head when he said, 'The staff in the NICU . . . made us feel like the only patients in the world.' When I read that I was like, Wait - you guys too? But we thought we were the only ones there!
That's when your job is more than a job. Congratulations, Jenny, and all our friends at St Luke's. We'll never forget you."