In an effort to expand Hand to Hold’s network and inform health care professionals, local groups and the public about the far-reaching effects of prematurity on families, the effectiveness of parent support and how together we can make a difference for families, Hand to Hold makes presentations and attends conferences/meetings to share what we know. To request a speaker from Hand to Hold, please contact Kelli Kelley at kelli [at] handtohold [dot] org.
38th Annual Seton NICU Reunion, April 13, 2013
We had a fantastic time celebrating, playing, and visiting families at the 38th Annual Seton NICU reunion! Thanks, Seton Healthcare Family, for letting us join you on this amazing day!
NICU Leadership Forum, April 9-12, 2013
Kelli Kelley spoke at this year’s NICU Leadership Forum.
Texas Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, April 5, 2013
Ft. Worth, Texas
Neonatologist Dr. Sue Hall and Kelli Kelley made a presentation entitled, “The Emotional Impact of a NICU Stay: Promoting Positive Coping and Parenting Skills Among NICU Families” to Texas neonatal nurse practitioners at their annual meeting.
Fabulous Working Ladies Austin Chapter, February 6, 2013
Kelli Kelley shared Hand to Hold’s mission at the recent meeting of the Fabulous Working Ladies, Austin Chapter.
Austin Man Magazine & Austinwoman Magazine Launch Party, February 5, 2013
Roger Beasley Mazda, Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold was the benefitting charity at the recent Austin Man Magazine and Austinwoman Magazine launch party. Staff attended to share information about Hand to Hold and its work to educate, connect and support NICU and bereaved parents.
National Association for Neonatal Therapists – Special Topic Call, January 22, 2013
National Conference Call
Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer hosted the National Association for Neonatal Therapists Special Topic Call titled, “Equipping NICU Families to Care for Their Babies”.
St. David’s Medical Center NICU Reunion, October 28, 2012
Hand to Hold was invited to participate in the St. David’s Medical Center’s NICU Reunion. Staff brought crafts and information to families to inform them of support and volunteer opportunities available through Hand to Hold.
National Perinatal Association 2012 Conference, October 18-20, 2012
Hand to Hold participated in the National Perinatal Association Conference, shared educational materials and Hand to Hold services to benefit families during and after a NICU experience, and received the prestigious Becky Hatfield Family Support Award.
National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) 28th Annual Education Conference, October 17-20, 2012
Palm Springs, California
Hand to Hold shared a booth with It’s a Preemie Thing and distributed bags containing educational newsletters and more information about the services Hand to Hold offers nurses and their NICUs to benefit patients and families.
NAMC NICU Reunion, September 22, 2012
St. David’s North Austin Medical Center – Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold staff attended the Annual NICU reunion. We brought crafts for youngsters to enjoy and information for their parents and caregivers to learn about support and volunteer opportunities available.
Annual Preemie Parent Summit, September 20-21, 2012
Hand to Hold attended the Annual Preemie Parent Summit to make more connections with fellow parent groups serving families in and outside of the NICU. Hand to Hold is part of the leadership committee for the Preemie Parent Alliance.
NICU Tour at Medical City Children’s Hospital, September 13, 2012
Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer toured the NICU at Medical City Children’s Hospital and delivered brochures and educational newsletters
Texas Pediatric Society Annual Meeting, September 13-16, 2012
Kelli Kelley co-presented with Dr. Rajam Ramamurthy, neonatologist and professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, on “Optimal Family-Centered Primary Care for the Former Premature Infant.”
Kelli Kelley of Hand to Hold was interviewed by DadLabs’ Danny Cameron to complete a series of educational videos about the benefits of donating human milk for dads. Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin also collaborated on these films. Watch the videos: Part 1 | Part 2.
Premature Infant Health Coalition Connections 2012 – June 15-16, 2012
Hand to Hold participated in this conference whose mission it is to advocate for better health for premature infants from the NICU and beyond. We enjoyed learning from keynote speaker, Nils Bergman, MD, MPH from South Africa spoke who spoke about Kangaroo Mother Care; Heather Spohr, writer, award winning blogger and president and co-founder of Friends of Maddie; Laura Jana, MD who read from the CDC’s book Amazing Me- It’s Busy Being 3!; Keira Sorrells, co-founder of the Zoe Rose Foundation and executive director of Preemie Parent Alliance; and more.
Dads and Dogs: Father’s Day in the NICU, June 14,2012
NICUs at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Medical Center
Hand to Hold in partnership with St. David’s North Austin Medical Center and St. David’s Medical Center held a Father’s Day celebration for fathers with babies in the NICU. Dads and their families enjoyed a hotdog dinner and cake, and each received a small gift from Hand to Hold to honor this fatherhood milestone. Hand to Hold also visited with families at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center’s NICU as well.
Mother’s Day in the NICU – Week of May 9-14
NICUs in Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold in partnership with St. David’s HealthCare held a Mother’s Day brunch for mothers in the NICU at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, and St. David’s Medical Center. Professional photographers were on hand to photograph each mom with their baby, and moms enjoyed the fellowship and comfort of other moms undergoing similar experiences. In addition to a photo, each mom received a goodie bag, a copy of Preemie by Kasey Mathews and a gift from our local March of Dimes. Hand to Hold volunteered with the March of Dimes at their events for moms at three local Seton hospitals and brought gifts of books and peer support.
Hand to Hold would like to thank Mead Johnson, Hummingbird Kitchen, Cook Walden, The March of Dimes and our fabulous volunteer photographers – Lourdes Shoaf, Amanda Wintenburg, Barbara Balliette – for their generous contributions to these events.
March for Babies – May 5, 2012
Auditorium Shores, Austin, Texas
Whether it’s supporting research to bring us breakthroughs like surfactant therapy, promoting awareness of prematurity’s impact, or educating mothers about the signs of preterm labor – all our families have benefited from March of Dimes’ leadership, research and advocacy. Parents, nurses and professionals joined Hand to Hold’s team, “Preemie Power,” to show support for a healthy start for all babies. Families cam out to show their support for this important cause and raise awareness of the amazing super hero qualities of all our children. The March for Babies in Austin was held on May 5, 2012, beginning at 9 am at Auditorium Shores. See pictures from the event.
National Association of Neonatal Therapists Conference – May 4-5, 2012
Omni Hotel Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth, Texas
Hand to Hold exhibited at and attended the National Association of Neonatal Therapists in Ft. Worth to network with pediatric therapists and enlist their collaboration and support of Hand to Hold’s parents support program.
May 3, 2012 – Parent Hour
Ronald McDonald House of Ft. Worth – Fort Worth, Texas
Hand to Hold and Ronald McDonald House of Ft. Worth hosted a Parent Hour featuring Preemie Mother and Author Kasey Mathews who shared her personal story with prematurity, read excerpts from her new book Preemie: Lessons in Life, Love, and Motherhood, and answered questions from parents. Her book beautifully articulates the emotional, physical and psychological challenges of parenting a medically fragile child. Hand to Hold provided a signed copy of the book to each family in attendance and information about how to receive support.
April 21, 2012 – Seton Medical Center NICU Reunion
Hand to Hold was invited to participate in Seton Medical Center’s NICU Reunion. Hand to Hold hosted a craft table with activities for a variety of ages and connected with families who may be of in need of support or who may volunteer to serve as a peer mentor for another family.
March 27, 2012 – Leading the Way: Supporting the Nutritional Needs of the Preterm Infant
Hand to Hold Executive Director, Kelli Kelley, joined local pediatric medical professionals for a presentation by Amy Gates, a Board Certified Pediatric Nutrition Specialist from Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia. The discussion, “Leading the Way: Supporting the Nutritional Needs of the Preterm Infant” focused on advancements in nutrition for the preterm infant and the need for breast milk fortification during the baby’s NICU stay and in most cases for many months following discharge. Fortification is necessary to ensure adequate amounts of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to support brain development and other vital organs. The first two weeks of the baby’s life are the most critical and many hospitals now swab the inside of a baby’s cheek with the mother’s colostrum if the baby is unable to feed – in an effort to reduce NEC.
March 25, 2012 – St. David’s Healthcare Partnership’s Memorial Service
Parents and staff of Hand to Hold were honored to participate in St. David’s Healthcare’s March 25th memorial service for babies of St. David’s patients, hosted by Cook-Walden of Pflugerville. Families and hospital staff came together to celebrate the lives of the children they care for. Their names were read as family laid flowers in their honor and received a memorial gift from Hand to Hold and St. David’s. Later at the reception Erika Goyer and Kelli Kelley shared support group and bereavement resource information with parents to help them on their journey. (Pictured left to right are Kelli Kelley, Executive Director of Hand to Hold; Rhonda Sageser, NICU Director, St. David’s Medical Center; Yvette McDonald, Director of Neonatal Services and Postpartum St David’s Women’s Center of Texas; and Erika Goyer, Family Support Navigator, Hand to Hold.
March 8, 2012 – Pay it Forward Service Project
Canyon Creek Elementary School, Austin, Texas
Students at Canyon Creek Elementary in Round Rock ISD chose Hand to Hold as their benefitting charity for their annual Pay It Forward service project. Students collected baby items such as diapers, baby wipes, blankets, toys and books and prepared gift bags for parents receiving support from Hand to Hold. Hand to Hold is truly grateful for this very generous donation and hope these gifts will serve as a source of comfort to parents during and after their child’s NICU stay.
February 23, 2012 – AllAboard Austin Volunteer Speed Matching Event
Kelli Kelley participated in the AllAboard Austin Volunteer Speed Matching Event with the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on February 23, 2012 to make new connections and recruit volunteers to join Hand to Hold.
January 5, 2012 – Williamson County Women, Infants, Children Program
Round Rock, Texas
Family Support Navigator Erika Goyer spent the morning visiting with WIC’s Peer Counselors of Williamson County in Round Rock. The Women Infants and Children nutrition program recruits and trains experienced mothers to become breastfeeding counselors. They offer support, information and encouragement to fellow moms in the WIC program – and provide a perspective that only another parent can! Erika and the counselors talked about the unique issues premature infants and their mothers face while breastfeeding and about how Hand to Hold and WIC Peer Breastfeeding Counselors can work together to support these families. If you are interested in meeting with a peer counselor – or becoming one – contact your local WIC office, email wicgeneral [at] dshs [dot] state [dot] tx [dot] us or call Kristina Arrieta 512/341-4592.
November 3, 2011 – Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award Ceremony
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin, Texas
Bank of America chose Kelli Kelley as a recipient of their 2011 Local Hero Award through their Neighborhood Excellence Initiative®! The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative is designed to recognize and encourage nonprofits, individuals and students for their community leadership and service. A gift of $5000 was made to Hand to Hold in Kelli’s honor at an awards reception in Austin, Texas.
October 30, 2011 – Rising Stars Pediatric Dentistry
Hand to Hold enjoyed taking part in the Halloween Open House at Rising Stars Pediatric Dentistry. Rising Stars has two locations in Austin and strives to provide high quality dentistry to children in a fun, safe and friendly environment. Visit www.smilelikeastar.com to learn more.
October 20 – 22, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky – National Perinatal Conference
Erika Goyer, family support navigator, attended NPA’s annual conference that featured sessions about providing quality perinatal care including education and connections about how to practice good nutrition and prevention of infection.
October 18, 2011 – Texas Premature Infant Summit
Courtyard by Marriott Austin & Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas
Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer of Hand to Hold attended the annual Texas Premature Infant Summit sponsored by MedImmune to address and discuss the rising rate of premature birth, issues of late preterm infants, continuity of care, and the clinical/socialeconomic burden. State and national participants included the Maryland Premature Infant Health Network, National Alliance of Preemie Parents, The National Association of Perinatal Social Workers, PreemieWorld, National Perinatal Association, National Black Nurses Association, National Premature Infant Health Coalition, Preemies Today, Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation, Premature Infant Network of Ohio, Graham’s Foundation, Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, The Academy of Neonatal Nursing, Minnesota Prematurity Coalition, Case Management Society of America, National Institute for Children’s Healthcare Quality, Nurse-Family Partnership, Pennsylvania Premature Infant Health Network, California Premature Infant Health Coalition, Illinois Premature Infant Infant Health Coalition, and Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.
October 17, 2011 – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program
University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing
Hand to Hold was invited by the University of Texas School of Nursing to assemble a panel of parents who shared their perspectives with up and coming NICU nurses. Thanks go to Katrina Moline, Marty Barnes, and Kelli Kelley for sharing their experiences and wisdom.
October 15, 2011 – NICU Reunion
St. David’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold attended the annual NICU reunion held at St. David’s Medical Center over the weekend to share information about the support Hand to Hold provides and volunteer opportunities.
October 10, 2011 – National Perinatal Association
Kelli Kelley has agreed to serve as a parent liaison and spokesperson for the National Perinatal Association as they work to facilitate the development of Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late-Preterm Infants.
October 2, 2011 – Remembering Our Babies – A Memorial Celebration
Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin, Texas
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas, the H.O.P.E. group leader, J. Worth Kilcrease, LPC, PLLC and March of Dimes hosted Remembering our Babies: A Memorial Celebration on Oct. 2, 2011 at Umlauf Sculpture Garden and invited Hand to Hold to provide resources for families who have suffered a perinatal loss.
September 15, 2011 – Pediatric Grand Rounds & Keynote Speaker at the Educational Summit on Prematurity
University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas
Kelli Kelley recently spoke to pediatricians at Pediatric Grand Rounds at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio about the challenges many preemies and their families face after the NICU. An attendee shared this comment about Kelli’s participation in Grand Rounds:
One of the private practice pediatricians said your grand rounds was one of the top ten grand rounds he ever heard. My residents were very enthusiastic about your presentation. Many of them told me “I never thought about that!” and they would be referring to several different parts of your talk. You definitely gave us food for thought. It was very helpful to hear the parent’s experience. Thank you again for coming to speak to us.
Dr. Rebecca Huston
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Kelli Kelley also served as the keynote speaker at the Educational Summit on Prematurity – Empowering Parents of Premature Babies During the First Three Years of Life. The following note was received after the conference:
I have been practicing Neonatology since 1972 and direct the Premature Infant Development Program since 1999. We have implemented many programs both in the NICU and the clinic to have parental involvement. I have often thought of the profound effect the birth of a preemie has on the parents. I have seen depression and divorce, child abuse and ongoing health issues. The idea of hand to hold blew me away. It is so thoughtful, necessary and urgent to have this available to all families. All the best and spread the word. We are looking into taking your help to set up the program in our hospital. Thanks again for coming and being our keynote speaker at the Educational Summit on Prematurity 2011.
Rajam Ramamurthy, MD
Medical Director, Premature infant development PREMIEre program
Rita and William Head Distinguished Professor of Environmental & Developmental Pediatrics.
September 14, 2011 – Ronald McDonald House Room Dedication at Dell Children’s Medical Center
Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold presented a book to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin & Central Texas Chief Executive Officer Kent Burress for families to enjoy while they rest in the new Ronald McDonald Room which resides in the NICU unit. The new room is place for families with children in the NICU to find respite and temporary shelter. See photos from the event and from RMDC’s Fan Page. See the news story about the event to learn more.
August 18, 2011 – “Latch On America” Nationwide Tour
Zilker Park, Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold was invited by the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin and Milk for Thought to attend and share information at the “Latch On America” community event (complete with giant pink bus!) to raise awareness of the importance of and community support for breastfeeding and milk banking. Austin was selected as one of 30 cities for “Latch On America,” a national grassroots campaign and documentary film to support moms, promoting breastfeeding and infant health. The event was co-hosted by several local organizations that work to improve infant health through breastfeeding, including the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Heart of Texas Lactation, State of Texas Women Infants & Children and Texas Breastfeeding Coalition.
August 3, 2011 – Austin Business Journal Health Care Heroes Lunch
AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Austin, Texas
Kelli Kelley was named a winner of 2011 Health Care Hero award sponsored by the Austin Business Journal for her work founding a nonprofit organization in 2010 to address the lack of community-based support programs for parents of premature infants who have been discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit.
May 3, 4, 5, 2011 – Mother’s Day Tea & Spa Day
NICUs within University Medical Center Brackenridge, Seton Medical Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center – Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold volunteers in collaboration with the March of Dimes held a Mother’s Day Tea and Spa Day for moms with babies in the NICU at University Medical Center Brackenridge, Seton Medical Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center. Moms were treated to sweet treats, makeovers, manicures and gift bags.Thanks to Bath & Bodyworks, Westgate store for their generous donation of hand sanitizers and lotions.
April 16, 2011 – Seton Medical Center NICU Reunion
Bailey Square Park – Austin, Texas
Hand to Hold was invited to attend Seton’s NICU reunion and organized a sand table and craft activities for the preemies and their families. Hundreds of NICU graduates gathered at Bailey Square Park where families met one another after having had a child or children in the NICU and learned of the support network Hand to Hold offers families after they have taken a child home from the hospital.
April 5-7, 2011 – Hospitals in El Paso
Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer returned to El Paso for a second time to continue building partnerships with local NICUs, Early Intervention Specialists and community partners. While there, Kelli and Erika met with NICU parents, held a Helping Hand mentor training and presented to local foundations interested in supporting the program. Hand to Hold plans to expand services to El Paso by the end of the year.
April 9, 2011 – Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Texas Section Conference
The Westin Domain – Austin, Texas
Kelli Kelley presented on post-traumatic stress disorder associated with birth trauma, having a baby in NICU and suffering a perinatal loss. In addition, Hand to Hold staff were available to share Hand to Hold mission with obstetric and neonatal nurses attending conference. Visit the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses for more details.
March 10, 2011 – RISE Austin Nonprofit Fast Pitch Event
AT&T Executive Conference Center, Austin, Texas
Kelli Kelley from Hand to Hold selected as one of the top 15 nonprofits to make a one minute pitch about Hand to Hold’s mission, goals, and future plans in front of an esteemed panel of entrepreneurs, professors and investors. Participants also answered questions from the judges after their presentation. Hand to Hold was honored to be among the top five nonprofits and made new connections with many who were in attendance. RISE (Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs) is a free conference for entrepreneurs of all types, providing a forum to connect and exchange ideas that inspire the entrepreneurial spirit.
January 24, 2011 – Texans Care for Children Infant Health Summit
Texas Capitol Building, Austin, Texas
Kelli Kelley presented information about the many challenges that parents face after having a child born early or with special health care needs or a loss and Hand to Hold’s mission to address those needs. She spoke at The Infant Health Summit with others who discussed the state of infant health in Texas and current legislative issues and opportunities. Visit Texans Care for Children for more information.
January 19, 2011 - Texas Children’s Hospital – Newborn Family Advisory Committee Meeting
Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas
Kelli and Erika spoke to parents about Hand to Hold’s services for families and how to best support families who have had a child born early or with special health care needs or a loss. Visit Texas Children’s Hospital.
November 15, 2010 – University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program
Kelli Kelley and Babs Haller participated in a panel discussion on ”Parents’ Perspectives of Perinatal Loss, NICU Experience, and Taking a Technology-Dependent Infant Home .” Visit the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing to learn more about the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program.
October 21-22, 2010 – Preemie Parent Summit
Kelli Kelley attended the Preemie Parent Summit which was organized by the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation to share ideas and best practices for parent support. The result of the Summit was the creation of the National Association of Preemie Parents. The group will will work together to improve preemie parent support addressing important issues such as setting standards for NICU discharge and transition into the community.
August 23, 2010 – Introducing Hand to Hold – Austin Mothers of Multiples
St. George’s Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas
Babs Haller was invited to speak at the Austin Mothers of Multiples meeting to share with them the resources now available to support families of preemies or those experiencing a loss.
August 19, 2010 – Austin Business Journal’s Healthcare Heroes Awards Breakfast & Networking Event
Hyatt Regency Austin – Lady Bird Lake
Kelli Kelley, executive director of Hand to Hold, was an award nominee as the Austin Business Journal honored individuals and organizations for their contributions to improving health care in Central Texas at the Health Care Heroes Awards Breakfast & Networking Event.
August 18, 2010 – AWC-Austin: Communicating with Purpose – The Nuances of Working for a Nonprofit
University of Texas Club – Austin, Texas
The Association for Women in Communications – Austin Professional Chapter‘s monthly meeting featured a panel that discussed best practices of communicating effectively as a nonprofit. Kelli Kelley was invited to speak about professional nonprofit communications using her own experiences including those with Hand to Hold. Other panelists included Keri Qunell, director of marketing services at St. Edward’s University and Melanie Chasteen, vice president, marketing and communications at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas.