Brand new babies in UnityPoint Health maternity and NICU units are going home with extra warm snuggles from an unexpected source.
Each quarter, the UnityPoint Health coding team makes and sends blankets to babies cared for at regional hospitals.
Beth Moore, coder 2 with UnityPoint Health and founder of The UPH Coding Blanket Project, has been making blankets for more than twenty years. It started as a hobby when her kids were little and was later motivated by The Preemie Project, an organization that serves critically ill infants and their families in Newborn Intensive Care Units across Iowa.
“I started making blankets for them in 2000 and still do. It’s what inspired me to make donations to our UnityPoint Health facilities,” Moore said.
The project began with Moore and just two co-workers. That number has grown to 20 team members, since its inception in 2015.
“Those that can’t make blankets donate cash to help us purchase materials and yarn and cover the shipping costs to the facilities. That way, everyone can play a part in this amazing project,” she said.
The group’s first donation went to Fort Dodge with 17 blankets. Their most recent donation went to the Meriter NICU with more than 130 blankets.
“I would love to able to do more. Our facilities see this as a continued effort. They are so thankful and share their needs with us. In Sioux City, they send a blanket home with every baby. They need our blankets.”
Moore said that to her, the projects speaks to two of the organization’s FOCUS values: Seizing Opportunities and Fostering Unity.
“We saw a need and are doing everything we can to fulfill it, and teamwork is the only way this project could be considered successful.”
Moore is especially thankful for the support of Shelli Smoldt, director of central coding, and Renee Rasmussen, vice president of revenue cycle.
“This would be so much more difficult to do otherwise. They encouraged this project and love the pictures of all the blankets!”