We believe a multidisciplinary team and specialized equipment are only part of caring for these babies—we focus on family–centered, developmentally–supportive care.
Parents and families are crucial to an infant's recovery and development, so we encourage and facilitate the strong presence and involvement of parents and family in the care we provide.
March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program
To help families who have children in the NICU, we have a NICU Family Support Program. Renée Crown Schine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was the first NICU in the state of Illinois to provide the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program to families.
Launched as a part time program in 2009, the program is built on a philosophy of family–centered care and supports families throughout the hospitalization, during the transition to home and in the event of a newborn death.
This program is guided by a volunteer committee, consisting of graduate NICU families and NICU staff, and a full–time NICU family support specialist, who works with parents and families and coordinates:
- Parent groups
- Educational presentations and discussions
- Family events
- A NICU reunion
- Professional education
NICU families receive parent care kits which contain the books:
- NICU: A Guide and Glossary
- Parent: You & Your Baby in the NICU
- Baby: A Keepsake Journal
We also provide helpful information for our short–stay families.
A stocked book cart of children’s books for parents to read to their infants at the bedside to promote early bonding is also available.
NICU Family Support® Bright Space®
The March of Dimes and Bright Horizons have formed a partnership to create Bright Space areas in NICU waiting rooms across the country.
The space is designed to brighten the lives of siblings and families in crisis and promote self–healing through play. In December 2013, the Renée Schine Crown NICU was one of three hospitals nationwide to be chosen to receive a Bright Space.
This area is available to more than 1,600 families a year who have a child in the NICU at Prentice Women’s Hospital.
For more information about the program, please contact the NICU family support specialist at 312.472.4347 or Jbowen@marchofdimes.org.