W&I unveils NICU family-support space for siblings
By Harold Ambler Contributing Writer
Families of babies being seen in Women & Infants Hospital’s Neonatal Follow-Up Clinic now have an educational and developmentally appropriate space to promote self-healing through play, thanks to an innovative partnership with the March of Dimes and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.
Rhode Island’s first March of Dimes NICU Family Support Bright Space for Siblings was unveiled earlier this month to a crowd that included current and former neonatal intensive care unit families, administrators, physicians, nurses and community representatives. The NICU siblings space is the first to open in a developmental follow-up clinic in the U.S. in partnership with the March of Dimes.
“Women & Infants Hospital is delighted to partner with the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and continue our longstanding partnership with the March of Dimes,” said Mark Marcantano, acting president of Women & Infants Hospital. “As a patient- and family-centered hospital, we are excited to create an enriching learning and play facility for NICU graduates and the siblings and families of some of our most fragile newborn patients.”
In addition to providing a gathering place for families, the Bright Space at Women & Infants will offer hope and inspiration. It will have vintage toys and art work, a library, interactive and developmentally appropriate toys, and an art cart.
“Bright Spaces bring hope and comfort to families and children during an especially difficult time – when a baby is in need of neonatal intensive care,” said Betsy Akin, director of the March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter. “This Bright Space in the developmental follow-up clinic will offer a place where moms and dads can talk, NICU graduates and siblings can play, and where families can simply be together.”