While no one expects a pregnancy with complications, one in 10 newborns are referred to the neonatal intensive care unit for critical care each year. A baby born preterm or with other diagnoses may need advanced medical care for days, weeks or months before going home to their family. And despite the treatments that exist, not every child will be able to come home.
During those precious first days and months in the hospital, families learn to live a “new normal” with regular visits to the hospital, pumping and medication schedules, juggling sibling and household matters, work schedules and insurance. Nurses, doctors and specialists become close partners and trusted advisors during a child’s stay. They are not only charged with caring for a baby’s health but ensuring families are able to weather the stress and emotional turmoil of having a baby in the hospital or a loss. These healthcare professionals whose calling it is to care for precious newborns and their families are unsung heroes for all they do each day. To shed light on the many small and large acts of compassion, courage and perseverance, Hand to Hold and Mead Johnson Nutrition have teamed up to present the third annual NICU Heroes Awards. These awards honor NICU professionals for their compassion and dedication to improving outcomes not only for medically fragile babies but also the entire family.
Parents/guardians of children who have been admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for any reason were invited to submit a nomination for their favorite neonatal health care professional until May 14, 2015.
How to Nominate
The 2015 nomination period for parents to nominate a favorite neonatal health professional for one of two NICU Heroes Awards runs April 1, 2015 through May 14, 2015 at 5 pm CT. NICU parents are invited to fill out a short nomination and include their story (500 word limit) about how a NICU staff member stands out for making their time or their child/ren’s time in the NICU easier. Contact Contessa Weinheimer at contessa [at] handtohold [dot] org if you have questions.
Nominees are notified via email of their nomination and will be directed to a website to provide supporting information for judging, including answers to several questions. Read the terms of participation.
Judging will be done by a panel of practicing NICU healthcare professionals and NICU graduate parents. Mead Johnson Nutrition will not be involved in the judging. Nominate Now.
All nominees will receive a Certificate of Nomination in recognition of their achievement and a copy of the parent’s essay, which shares the meaningful difference their work made for their child/ren and family. Finalists will be announced July 13, 2015.
The two NICU Heroes Award Winners will be announced August 3, 2015 and receive the following:
- A NICU Hero Award certificate and trophy, presented at the winner’s hospital,
- A $2,500 donation made in their honor to the pediatric healthcare charity of their choice*, and
- A one-year subscription to the Hand to Hold NICU Resource Library for the winner’s hospital.
*Some limitations may apply.