Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth Offers First March of Dimes Neonatal Family Support Program in Tarrant County
10/28/2011

FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is expanding support services for some of its sickest and smallest patients and their families. The hospital is the first in Tarrant County and one of only four hospitals in the state of Texas to offer the March of Dimes Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Family Support Program.

The NICU Family Support Program is a comprehensive set of services, developed and launched to provide information and comfort to families during the NICU hospitalization of their newborn, during the transition home and in the event of a newborn death. Because NICU families know best what makes the NICU experience more comfortable, graduate NICU parents have been and continue to be at the center of the development and provision of the materials, services and programs encompassed by NICU Family Support.

Staffed by a specially trained Neonatal Family Support Specialist (NFS), the program will offer various resources and activities such as arranging a guest speaker from the hospital to talk about the important role of parents in developmental care, a scrapbooking night to provide families an opportunity to create photographic keepsakes for themselves and their newborn, and sibling education so that older brothers and sisters of NICU babies can feel included in the newborn’s development and NICU experience.

The NFS Specialist will also act as a link between the clinical staff and families by offering continuing education opportunities to help the staff provide a more family-centered approach to caring for their patients.

“Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is dedicated to creating a nurturing environment for our NICU babies and their families. The value of a support system can be immeasurable to a family dealing with the uncertainties that come along with delivering a premature baby,” said Amy Hailey, director of women and infant services at Texas Health Fort Worth. “We are here not only to offer leading-edge medical care, but to lend support and encourage a strong foundation.”

The program was, in part, made possible through a generous gift by Carolyn and Herschel Winn in memory of their daughter Celia Winn Spaans who died of breast cancer in 1998. The Celia Winn Spaans Family Support Room will offer NICU staff and families a place to convene, learn from and share stories as well as lend support to one another.

“As a devoted wife, mother and friend, Celia was always reaching out to help others," said Carolyn Winn. "Since her death, Herschel and I have been seeking a way to honor our daughter's memory and we believe that the new March of Dimes NICU Family Support program at Texas Health Fort Worth is it. With a strong family focus, the dedicated room will exemplify Celia's caring and compassionate spirit."

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 724-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and educationFor more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.