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PHD Hosts 19th Annual NICU Reunion
10/01/2003

DALLAS – Hundreds of children, babies and infants – along with their parents and families – will gather at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (PHD) to celebrate health and life, at the 19th annual NICU Reunion. The event takes place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, on the front patio of the Margot Perot building. The honored guests are children who, as newborns, were cared for in the hospital’s level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and/or the special care nursery (SCN). Infants who spend time in the NICU are often born prematurely, but others suffer with complications requiring extra care, even though they reach full gestation before birth. Hosting the festivities are the nurses, allied health staff, administrators, physicians on the medical staff and many others from the hospital.

"We are proud to offer these tiny patients and their families a healing environment that is technologically advanced, yet staffed with highly trained, compassionate people," said Mark H. Merrill, hospital president, speaking about the NICU. "The hospital staff and physicians who cared for these children, while many of them were fighting for life, look forward to the annual reunion when they can see them in a festive atmosphere away from the hi-tech environment of the NICU," he added.

The reunion also helps NICU staff realize how profoundly their work affects the families who need their support and care. Seeing the children outside the hospital setting provides positive reinforcement that the hard work is worthwhile.

"It encourages me to see the ‘graduates’ (former patients) and their parents at this reunion," said Carla Holland, NICU staff transport nurse. "It makes up for the long hours and the tired feet. What we do impacts people’s lives forever," she added.

At this year’s NICU Reunion, there will be refreshments, puppets and clowns for the children and plenty of time for parents to visit with their children’s former caregivers. The attendance at past reunions has been as high as 1,200 people, and the number usually ranges between 250 and 450.

In 1983, the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants opened on the PHD campus as the first hospital in North Texas dedicated exclusively to caring for women and their babies. The hospital’s NICU moved to the new building at that time. Then in 2001, PHD opened an expansion of the Perot building, which features a 47-bed, Level III NICU, a 21-bed special care nursery, an 18-bed high-risk obstetrics unit, a 66-bed regular obstetrics unit and 11 rooms for labor/delivery/recovery.

If you need more information about the NICU Reunion, please call 1 (800) 4-Presby.

About Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
Established in 1966, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas celebrates 37 years of service and is the flagship hospital of Presbyterian Healthcare System. PHD is recognized for quality care in women’s and infants, cardiovascular, orthopedics, neuroscience, digestive/surgery and oncology services. PHD is a referral center serving the North Texas region and beyond. The 897-bed facility maintains approximately 3,700 employees and an active medical staff of more than 900 physicians.

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