June 13 2011 - Families with Babies in NICU to Benefit from March of Dimes Kiosk Project

For Immediate Release

June 13, 2011

For more information:
John Moore
Public Information Officer
Trinity Mother Frances
(903) 531-4542

March of Dimes Partners With Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler / At Home Healthcare and Children's Miracle Network

TYLER, TX -- The March of Dimes today announced that it is partnering with Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, At Home Healthcare and Children's Miracle Network to operate and fund the NICU Family Support® Center program, which includes an informational kiosk placed in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. March of Dimes NICU Family Support provides information and comfort to families of premature babies and other critically ill newborns being cared for in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The NICU kiosk is designed for parents to have instant access to information and resources pertaining to having a premature child. The kiosk was placed in the NICU setting and is available at all times.

Preparing for a new baby is a time of great excitement, said Abby Warnick, March of Dimes Division Director in Tyler. Families don't expect anything to go wrong, but about one in 10 newborns wind up in a NICU because they are born too soon, too small or with a birth defect. The experience can be overwhelming for families. NICU Family Support aims to make the journey through newborn intensive care smoother and less traumatic for families.

"This is a great gift and we are so thankful to the March of Dimes, At Home Healthcare and Children's Miracle Network for partnering to make this available to our families," said Brenda Morris, MD, medical director, Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. "Parents and family members have a lot of questions when their baby is born early or with complications. This kiosk will allow them to access a lot of great information in one place and comfort them at a time when they need comforting."

NICU Family Support is an important component of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, a nationwide effort to address the growing problem of premature birth, which is the leading cause of newborn death and a major cause of serious health problems. It costs society billions of dollars every year. The March of Dimes is also funding research to find the causes of premature birth.

The March of Dimes estimates that 10 percent of all newborns require some level of intensive care.

Nationally, March of Dimes NICU Family Support receives financial and in-kind support from Scholastic, Inc. and Farmers Insurance.

In 2004, NICU Family Support became a signature project of the March of Dimes and rolled out to NICUs across the country. There are now over 100 NICU Family Support sites nationwide, with sites in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, reaching over 75,000 families annually.

At Home Healthcare is thrilled to partner with Mother Frances because of its reputation for excellence and the quality care it provides to babies, said Tricia Harty of At Home Healthcare. "Mother Frances does incredible work every day to care for sick babies and their families. We are excited to be a supporter of the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Center site and are looking forward to this collaborative effort to support parents."

About Trinity Mother Frances

Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics includes The Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler, Mother Frances Hospital-Jacksonville, Mother Frances Hospital-Winnsboro, Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, affiliated with HealthSouth, Tyler ContinueCARE Hospital, a long-term acute care facility, and Trinity Clinic. Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 280 physicians and mid-level providers representing 38 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving east Texas. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, visit tmfhc.org.

About At Home Healthcare

Providing home care since 1986, At Home Healthcare today has 11 offices located throughout East Texas and Northeast Texas servicing patients and clients in over 50 counties. At Home Healthcare is committed to having a staff of caring professionals that are licensed, certified, bonded and highly trained. The staff works in coordination with a patient's physicians to ensure the highest level of care possible.

About The March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at marchofdimes.com or its Spanish Web site at nacersano.org