This year marks the fifth anniversary of the March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Family Support Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This program has brought support and information to thousands of families impacted by prematurity and birth defects.
Over the last five years, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has expanded, the scope of the NICU Family Support Program has grown and NICU graduates also have grown. These are all great accomplishments.
However, there’s one thing we don’t want to grow – the rate of prematurity in Wisconsin, the U.S. and around the world.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month, which was started by the March of Dimes to get the word out that prematurity is a serious problem. It can lead to learning disabilities, hearing and vision loss, cerebral palsy and even death.
Fortunately, the March of Dimes funds research to find causes and treatments for illnesses related to prematurity. In fact, right now half a million dollars is being used for research right here in Wisconsin!
Be sure to keep an eye out around Children’s Hospital during the month of November as we blanket the hospital in purple, the signature color of the March of Dimes. There will be purple lights at the top of Children’s Corporate Center and in the Noel Family Healing Garden. In the NICU, all of the babies will be given purple hats and the windows will be painted with purple baby feet.
Get more information about the March of Dimes and Prematurity Awareness Month by visiting the March of Dimes website.
~ Melissa Hages, March of Dimes NICU Family Support specialist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin