February 6 2008 - MFH Neonatal Unit Receives Grant From BOA

For Immediate Release                                                        February 6, 2008

For More Information:

John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


Dr. Brenda Morris Named New NICU Neonatologist

TYLER, TX - Today during ceremonies at Mother Frances Hospital, Gay Smith, Tyler Market President for Bank of America presented hospital officials with a  $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for the New Lives NICU Campaign.  This lead corporate donation will be used for construction costs of the first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Tyler, which is scheduled to be completed at Mother Frances in 2008 and will provide a higher level of care for infants born prematurely or with serious health problems.

"At Bank of America, we realize there is a critical shortage of advanced neonatal health care in our community.  Of the nearly 3,000 babies born in our community between July 2006 and 2007, more than 180 of them, and many mothers of these newborns, required transportation to facilities outside the area to receive an advanced level of care, and an additional 162 newborns elsewhere in the region also required transport to an outside NICU," said Smith.  "We are proud to partner with Mother Frances as they serve as an anchor in our community, providing babies and their mothers in Tyler with a comprehensiveNICU, and helping families avoid the stress and financial burden of being far from home to receive needed care."

In addition to thanking the bank and unveiling architectural renderings of the NICU during the event, which was attended by hospital, community and bank leaders, as well as Joey Seeber, City of Tyler Mayor, Trinity Mother Frances President Lindsey Bradley, introduced Dr. Brenda Morris as the new medical director of the NICU.  Dr. Morris, a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, is returning to the area she calls home after serving as the Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics University of Texas-Houston Medical School.

"We thank the Bank of America for the significant contribution toward our goal of offering the best possible care for newborns in east Texas," said Bradley.  "They are to be commended for not only being a great corporate citizen, but also a caring member of this community and helping us realize the common goal of providing compassionate and excellent health care to the women and children of our community.  To be able to announce this generous donation and introduce Dr. Brenda Morris as the leader for the NICU truly makes this a great day."

The community-supported New Lives NICU Campaign, which was launched last August, is on track to raise $1.3 million to build a Level IIIA NICU.  The campaign was developed by the Trinity Mother Frances Foundation to encourage philanthropic donations from citizens of Tyler and the surrounding area.  The goal is to help build the new neonatal intensive care unit at Mother Frances Hospital, purchase vital technology required to care for the newborns, and staff the facility with specialists.  Mrs. Mary Dale Thomas is the honorary chairman of the "New Lives" fundraising effort.

More than five percent of all newborns experience medical problems because of premature birth, low blood sugar, birth defects, breathing difficulties, growth restriction, infections or maternal health problems.  The optimal setting for treating many medically fragile infants is a NICU.  When completed, the Level IIIA NICU will allow both premature infants and full-term newborns with health problems to receive highly specialized quality care in Tyler, allowing them to stay close to home. During her remarks, Dr. Morris stressed the impact advanced care makes in the lives of newborns.

"As a neonatologist that has practiced in Houston for the last several years, I have seen true miracles occur because of the care that we were able to offer families," said Dr. Morris.  "To be able to bring this experience back to the area I call home is an honor.  Tyler is long overdue for this type of facility and I am thrilled to be a part of making this new service a reality."

"It is a great addition to the City of Tyler to have a NICU," said Mayor Seeber.  "Not only is this a plus for mothers, babies and families, but new jobs will be created to support this effort.  Bank of America and Trinity Mother Frances have shown how public and private partnerships positively impact our community."

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is in its fourth year of achieving an unprecedented 10-year goal to donate $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $225 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions.  Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.

Trinity Mother Frances NICU

For more information on how to contribute to the "New Lives NICU Campaign," please contact the Trinity Mother Frances Foundation at (903) 531-4752 or visit the website at www.tmfhs.org/NICUcampaign.

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