Making Connections

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 and fundraisers to share what we know and network.  To request a speaker from Hand to Hold, please contact Kelli Kelley at kelli [at] handtohold [dot] org.

Past Events

Healthcare Design Conference – November 15-18, 2014
San Diego, California

Katie Reginato Cascamo and Jennifer Beatty represented Hand to Hold at the Healthcare Design Conference for the second year in a row.

Keira Sorrells (L) and Kelli Kelley (R) with nurses from Baptist Hospital for Women

Keira Sorrells (L) and Kelli Kelley (R) with nurses from Baptist Hospital for Women

Maternal Newborn Conference at Baptist Hospital for Women – November 6, 2014
Jackson, Mississippi

Kelli Kelley was part of the Preemie Parent Alliance panel at the Maternal Newborn Conference at Baptist Health Systems in Jackson, Mississippi with Keira Sorrells of Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation, Dr. Sue Hall author of  For the Love of Babies and Nick Hall of Graham’s Foundation. We love sharing how nursing professionals can make a NICU stay easier on families in their care.

5th Annual Management of Obstetric Crisis:  Developing Practice Strategies to Maximize Maternal & Fetal Outcomes – October 25, 2014
Austin, Texas

Kelli Kelley presented at the 5th Annual Management of Obstetric Crisis:  Developing Practice Strategies to Maximize Maternal & Fetal Outcomes at St. David’s Women’s Center of Austin.

NICU Reunion at Baylor Medical Center Dallas – October 25, 2014
Dallas, TX

Tanya Clay participated in the NICU Reunion at Baylor Medical Center Dallas on October 25, 2014.

Super Girl at Mom at SDMC NICU Reunion

St. David’s Medical Center NICU Reunion – Photo Credit: Beth Bishop

NICU Reunion at St. David’s Medical Center – October 25, 2014
Austin, TX

Family Support Navigator Beth Bishop represented Hand to Hold and shared with families how to receive support and how to volunteer at St. David’s Annual NICU Reunion.

National Perinatal Association Conference – October 15-17, 2014
St. Louis, MO

Jennifer Beatty flew out to St. Louis to participate in an NPA workgroup on improving the psychosocial support of NICU families. Erika Goyer participated on a separate workgroup and on the board for the National Perinatal Association where one of the items they discussed was the proposed new standards for RSV guidelines.

NICU Resource Library Presentation – October 16, 2014
Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron, OH

An awards presentation was held at Akron Children’s Hospital where the runner-up winner of the NICU Grand Prize Giveway was able to present Hand to Hold’s NICU Resource Library to their child’s hospital.  The NICU Resource Library is designed to help educate families in the NICU.

NICU Reunion – October 4, 2014
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, TX

Ambassador Coordinator Tanya Clay participated in the NICU reunion held October 4, 2014 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Nurse Education – October 3, 2014
Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX

Ambassador Coordinator Tanya Clay spoke to a group of nursing students who were completing their clinicals at Parkland Hospital to give them perspective on what it is like to be a mother with a baby in the NICU.

Katie at the Sierra Vista NICU Reunion

Katie at the Sierra Vista NICU Reunion

NICU Reunion at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center – September 27, 2014
San Luis Obispo, CA

Katie Reginato Cascamo represented Hand to Hold at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center’s Annual NICU Reunion. She shared information with parents about how to receive support along with how to volunteer to support another family through Hand to Hold.

Dr. Lawrence and the Twins

Dr. Lawrence and the Carney Twins Photo credit: St. Alphonsus

NICU Heroes Awards Presentation – Dr. Stewart Lawrence – September 25, 2014
St. Alphonsus Medical Center, Boise, ID

Education Director Erika Goyer represented Hand to Hold at the NICU Heroes Awards Presentation at St. Alphonsus Medical Center which honored NICU Heroes Award Winner Dr. Stewart Lawrence. The Awards were co-presented by Hand to Hold and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

NICU Heroes Awards Presentation – Nurse Stephanie Hall – September 24, 2014
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Family Support Navigator Beth Bishop attended the NICU Heroes Award Presentation held at MUSC to honor NICU Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Horecky Hall. The Awards were co-presented by Hand to Hold and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

NICU Reunion at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center – September 20, 2014
Austin, TX

Amy Carr and Jennifer Beatty shared more information about how to volunteer and to receive support from Hand to Hold at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center’s Annual Reunion.

Resolve Through Sharing Bereavement Training – September 17-18, 2014
Austin, TX

Education Director Erika Goyer presented a Resolve Through Sharing Bereavement Training  at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center that neonatal staff attended to learn more about how to support NICU families who have experienced the loss of a baby. Staff members and social workers Jennifer Beatty and Beth Bishop also participated in the training.

NICU Grad delivering NICU Nurse Appreciation Goodies

NICU Grad delivering NICU Nurse Appreciation Goodies Photo credit: Tanya Clay

NICU Nurse Appreciation – September 15, 2014
Baylor University Medical Center – Dallas, TX
Medical City Dallas Hospital – Dallas, TX
Methodist Dallas Medical Center – Dallas, TX
St. David’s North Austin Medical Center – Austin, TX
St. David’s Medical Center – Austin, TX
St. David’s South Medical Center – Austin, TX
St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center – Round Rock, TX

Baskets of goodies and information were delivered to multiple hospitals in the Austin and Dallas areas to honor and celebrate NICU Nurses for all they do for NICU families all year long.

Preemie Parent Summit – September 12-14, 2014
Phoenix, AZ

Kelli Kelley participated in the annual Preemie Parent Summit held by the Preemie Parent Alliance , an organization whose mission it is to foster cooperation and information sharing among parent-led organizations that serve preemie parents across the country.

NANN Educational Conference – September 10-13, 2014
Phoenix, AZ

Contessa Weinheimer and Kelli Kelley attended and exhibited at the National Association of Neonatal Nurses Educational Conferences to share the resources and support Hand to Hold can provide families in their care.

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Presentation – September 9, 2014
Phoenix, AZ

Kelli presented to the NICU Family Advisory Council and members of the NICU staff.

Regusci Family

Regusci Family at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center Photo credit: Katie Reginato Cascamo

Awards Presentation at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center  – July 1, 2014
San Luis Obispo, CA

On behalf of Hand to Hold, Katie Reginato Cascamo led an awards presentation where the winner of the NICU Grand Prize Giveaway the Regusci Family was able to gift a prize package to their adopted twins’ NICU which included two Kangaroo Care Gliders and Hand to Hold’s NICU Resource Library among other goodies.

Father's Day at St. David's Medical Center Photo credit: Luly Photography

Father’s Day at St. David’s Medical Center Photo credit: Luly Photography

Father’s Day in the  NICU at St. David’s Medical Center – June 12, 2014
Austin, TX

Jennifer Beatty and Hand to Hold NICU parent volunteers held a fun Pizzas and Pops event to honor NICU dads at St. David’s Medical Center.

Father’s Day in the  NICU at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center  – June 10, 2014
Austin, TX

Jennifer Beatty and Hand to Hold NICU parent volunteers held a fun Pizzas and Pops event to honor NICU dads at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.

NAPSW Conference – May 7-10, 2014
San Antonio, Texas

NICU Mom and Social Worker Jen Beatty attended the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers in San Antonio, Texas.

Mother’s Day in the  NICU at St. David’s Medical Center – May 6, 2014
Austin, TX

Contessa Weinheimer and Jennifer Beatty hosted a Mother’s Day Brunch for NICU moms and their families at St. David’s Medical Center.

Kelli Kelley with a NICU Mom at NAMC

Photo credit: Luly Photography

Mother’s Day in the  NICU at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center – May 5, 2014
Austin, TX

Kelli Kelley and Amy Carr celebrated a Mother’s Day Brunch for mothers and their families who had babies in the NICU.

NICU Leadership Forum – April 27-May 1, 2014
Jacksonville, FL

Contessa Weinheimer and Kelli Kelley attended this meeting to share information and resources available to NICU families that these nurse managers serve.

NANT Conference – April 24-26, 2014
Atlanta, GA

Education Director Erika Goyer attended the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Annual Conference to share the resources and support available to patients in their care.

NICU Reunion at Seton Medical Center – April 12, 2014
Austin, Texas

Hand to Hold staff and volunteers from Maxim Healthcare enjoyed visiting with NICU families and creating crafts with the kids. Hand to Hold also shared information about how to receive support and how to volunteer to support another family.

Austin Perinatal Coalition – April 10, 2014
Austin, Texas

Kelli Kelley presented information and resourcs offered by Hand to Hold to Central Texas health care providers interested in improving the care, coordination and outcomes for NICU families.

Kelli at Neotech Cares Symposium 2014Neotech Cares Symposium – March 27, 2014
Valencia, California

Kelli Kelley shared a NICU parent’s perspective with the attendees at Neotech Cares First Annual Symposium which provided CEUs and training to neonatal professionals.

Denver Health 2014 Maternal Child Conference on Preparing for Discharge: Building a Bridge Between NICU and Home – March 26, 2014
Denver, Colorado

Hand to Hold’s Program Director, Erika Goyer, spoke to providers at the Denver Health 2014 Maternal Child Conference on Preparing for Discharge: Building a Bridge Between NICU and Home. Hand to Hold is partnering with Special Kids, Special Care and Barbara J. Deloian, PhD, RN, CPNP, IBCLC, FAANP to provide comprehensive support and services to families at discharge and beyond.

Communitywide Memorial Service – March 23, 2014
Austin, Texas

St. David’s HealthCare hospitals held a community wide memorial service for Central Texas families to remember and honor precious babies gone too soon. The event was held Sunday, March 23, 2014 from 2:30pm – 3:30pm at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Chapel at 14501 North I-35 Pflugerville, TX 78660. Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer were on hand to speak with families and attendees.  Download the invitation.

NEO: The Conference for Neonatology 2014 – February 20-23, 2014
Orlando, Florida

Kelli and TanyaTanya Clay represented Hand to Hold on a panel organized by the Preemie Parent Alliance that discussed “What Parents Want Neonatologists to Know.” Personal stories were shared which were followed by a one hour question and answer session.

CA Maternal Mental Health Conference 2014Emerging Considerations in Maternal Mental Health Forum – January 23, 2014
Los Angeles, California

Hand to Hold’s Executive Director Kelli Kelley spoke on a panel discussion: “Interconnections: Maternal Depression & Preterm Delivery – NICU experiences, Enhancing training for Pediatricians/Neonatologists, Innovative NICU programs, and more” as part of the 4th biannual conference hosted by the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, L.A. County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, 2020 Mom Project, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Artemis Center for Guidance, LLC.

Tanya in the NICUWinter Holidays in the NICU – December 2013
Medical City Children’s Hospital, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and Baylor Medical Center at Dallas – Dallas, Texas and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Medical Center, and St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center in Austin, Texas

Hand to Hold staff hosted craft nights in the NICU at hospitals in Austin and Dallas, Texas giving families a much-needed break to convene together to enjoy time together and in making ornaments to celebrate their precious child.

NICU Design Conference2013 Healthcare Design Conference – November 16-19, 2013
Orlando, Florida

Hand to Hold’s Family Support Navigator Jennifer Beatty attended the conference to share advice and thoughts about NICU design to the designers who were looking to create NICU spaces that would enhance parent and child comfort, safety and minimize trauma. Hand to Hold helped recruit fellow NICU parents who were able to give valuable input during the conference.

National Perinatal Association 4th Annual Conference – November 7-9, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah

Program Director & Family Support Navigator Erika Goyer attended the National Perinatal Conference where she serves on the board of directors, and collaborates on initiatives to benefit NICU families across the nation.

Dr Sue Hall at NANN

National Association of Neonatal Nurses – October 2-5, 2013
Preemie Parents Alliance
Nashville, TN

Kelli Kelley, Tanya Clay and Erika Goyer attended the NANN conference to raise awareness of the organization’s NICU Resource Library and the many educational and support services available for NICU families nationwide. At the conclusion of the meeting, Hand to Hold participated in the Preemie Parents Alliance Meeting.

Dr Cleary Receiving the NICU Heroes AwardNICU Heroes Awards Luncheon – September 26, 2013
Abington Hospital, Pennsylvania

Hand to Hold’s Kelli Kelley and Mead Johnson Nutrition’s Charles Carol bestowed the first annual NICU Heroes Award on Neonatologist Dr. Gerard Cleary. Read more.

NICU Nurse Appreciation in DallasNICU Nurse Appreciation – September 15, 2013
Medical City Children’s Hospital, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and Baylor Medical Center at Dallas – Dallas, Texas and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Medical Center, and St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center in Austin, Texas

Tanya Clay delivered a host of goodies and thank you notes to the neonatal nursing staff at Medical City Children’s Hospital, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Baylor Medical Center at Dallas and Jennifer Beatty did the same for Austin NICUs at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Medical Center, and St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center in recognition of National Neonatal Nurse Appreciation Day.

Kelli and Laura at NASW TexasNational Association of Social Workers/Texas Conference – August 31-September 2, 2013
Austin, Texas

Hand to Hold Staff raised awareness about the free services and education provided to NICU families to complement family-centered care practices in the hospital setting and long beyond.

Pizza and Pops in the NICUPizza and Pops in the NICU – June 13, 2013
St. David’s Medical Center, Austin, Texas

Family Support Navigators Laura Romero and Jennifer Beatty, MSW in partnership with St. David’s Medical Center and Mead Johnson Nutrition held a celebration in honor of NICU dads.

Pizza and Pops in the NICUPizza and Pops in the NICU – June 11, 2013
St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, Round Rock, Texas

Family Navigator Erika Goyer and NICU Outreach Coordinator Contessa Weinheimer held a celebration in honor of dad with babies in the NICU in partnership with St. David’s Round Rock and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

Pizza and Pops in the NICU

Pizza and Pops in the NICU – June 10, 2013
St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, Austin, Texas

Family Support Navigators Laura Romero and Jennifer Beatty, MSW in partnership with North Austin Medical Center and Mead Johnson Nutrition held a celebration in honor of NICU dads.

Pediatric Grand Rounds – June 5, 2013
El Paso Children’s Hospital, El Paso, Texas

Kelli Kelley gave a presentation entitled, “A Parent’s Perspective:  The Emotional Impact of Preterm Birth” to students and faculty from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso.

Attendees shared the following feedback:

“I have always been interested in working in the NICU department.  Your presentation helped solidify my decision…..As a nurse, I want to give back by being as empathetic, supportive and caring as I can be!”  Christina Rivas

“Your presentation reinforces that nursing involves caring for and supporting patients and families emotionally and spiritually.  The focus is always clinical and we tend to forget at the core – we are all human.”  Lisa Vandenduck, LVN

Methodist Medical Center Dallas and Hand to Hold - Mother's Day Tea in the NICU 2013Mother’s Day in the NICU – May 12, 2013
Methodist Medical Center Dallas

Hand to Hold held its first-ever Mother’s Day Tea for NICU mothers at Methodist Medical Center Dallas. Mothers enjoyed goodie bags, beautiful corsages, cake, and punch and the fellowship of meeting one another. We are grateful to Methodist Parking Services, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Hillcrest-Sparkman Memorial for their generous donations to this fun event!

St. David's Round Rock NICU & Hand to Hold - Mother's Day Tea 2013Mother’s Day in the NICU – May 8,9, and 10, 2013
Multiple 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. Hand to Hold would like to thank Mead Johnson, Cook Walden, and our fabulous volunteer photographer, Lourdes Shoaf for her generous contributions to these events.

National Association of Neonatal Therapists, May 2-4, 2014
Ft. Worth, Texas

Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer gave a presentation called, “A Professional’s Guide to the NICU Parent” to a standing-room only crowd at the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Annual Conference.

Seton NICU Reunion 201338th Annual Seton NICU Reunion, April 13, 2013
Austin, Texas

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
Scottsdale, Arizona

Kelli Kelley was honored to be selected by General Electric Healthcare to present at the NICU Leadership Forum, attended by more than 130 NICU Directors and Nurse Managers.

Kelli Kelley & Dr. Sue Hall

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.

Shari Arnold with Kelli Kelley

Shari Arnold with Kelli Kelley

Fabulous Working Ladies Austin Chapter, February 6, 2013
Austin, Texas

Kelli Kelley shared Hand to Hold’s mission at the recent meeting of the Fabulous Working Ladies, Austin Chapter and was honored to be the recipient of the loose change collection–a tradition of the organization. Thank you, Fabulous Working Ladies, for your generosity!

AW Media Launch Party 3-2013Austin 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 of Neonatal TherapistsNational 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 2012St. David’s Medical Center NICU Reunion, October 28, 2012
Austin, Texas 

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
Tampa, Florida

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.

It's a Preemie Thing & Hand to Hold at NANN 2012National 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.

Preemie Parent Summit 2012 - Kelli with Rhi and ChasAnnual Preemie Parent Summit, September 20-21, 2012
Chicago, Illinois

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'sNICU Tour at Medical City Children’s Hospital, September 13, 2012
Dallas, Texas

Kelli Kelley and Erika Goyer toured the NICU at Medical City Children’s Hospital and delivered brochures and educational newsletters

Dr Rajam Ramamurthy, Kelli Kelley, and Dr. Rebecca Huston at Texas Pediatric Society 2012Texas Pediatric Society Annual Meeting, September 13-16, 2012
Ft. Worth, Texas

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.”

Donating Breast Milk Part 2-DadLabs-YouTubeDonating BreastMilk Educational Video Series
Filmed by DadLabs.com

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
Washington, DC 

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.

NICU Daddy Victor at Dads and DogsDads 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 Brunch 2012 at NAMC

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.

Hand to Hold's Preemie Power Photobooth at March for Babies Austin 2012March 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.

NANT 2012 Conference - Kasey Mathews, Sue Ludwig, and Kelli KelleyNational 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.

Hand to Hold, RMHC of Ft Worth, and Kasey Mathews at Parent HourMay 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.

Hand to Hold at Seton Medical Center's NICU Reunion 2012

April 21, 2012 – Seton Medical Center NICU Reunion
Austin, Texas

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.

Leading the Way: Infant NutritionMarch 27, 2012 – Leading the Way: Supporting the Nutritional Needs of the Preterm Infant
Austin, Texas

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.

St. David's Memorial Service held March 26, 2012March 25, 2012 – St. David’s Healthcare Partnership’s Memorial Service
Austin, Texas

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.

 

Canyon Creek Elementary Students Pay it ForwardMarch 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.

GAHCC event February 23, 2012February 23, 2012 – AllAboard Austin Volunteer Speed Matching Event
Austin, Texas

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.

 

Texas WIC - Women Infants Children ProgramJanuary 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.

Kelli Kelley and Kenny Wilson, president of Bank of America Central/South TexasNovember 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.

Rising Stars Pediatric Dentistry teamOctober 30, 2011 – Rising Stars Pediatric Dentistry
Austin, Texas

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.

 

National Perinatal Conference 2011 with Erika Goyer and colleaguesOctober 20 – 22, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky – National Perinatal Conference
Louisville, Kentucky

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.

St. David's Medical Center NICU Reunion 2011October 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
Binghamton, NY

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.

Remembering Our Babies - A Memorial Celebration 2011

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.

Kelli Kelley speaks at UT Health Science CenterSeptember 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.
UTHSCSA

Ronald McDonald House NICU Family Room Book Presentation at the Ribbon Cutting EventSeptember 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 attends the Latch On American Tour in AustinHand 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.

Yvette McDonald and Kelli Kelley at the ABJ Health Care Hero Awards 2011

Yvette McDonald and Kelli Kelley

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.

Hand to Hold meets with a parent advisory committee at Texas Children's HospitalJanuary 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
Austin, Texas
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
Atlanta, Georgia
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.

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