Since 2007, the Junior League of Waco has partnered with the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center. Our volunteers have spent many hours helping nurses to care for tiny babies, restocking supplies, and providing clerical support to the staff as they care for some of our community’s most fragile children.
This year, we’ve refocused our partnership to work specifically with the NICU Follow-Up Clinic, which provides services to parents AFTER the babies are discharged from the hospital. The Clinic provides regular appointments with parents to educate them on caring for preemie babies, evaluate the babies’ development, offer referral services, and encourage well-baby check-ups and immunizations in order to reduce emergency room visits.
Why is this needed?
Unfortunately, many families stop coming to NICU Follow-Up Clinic appointments after the one-week appointment or attend sporadically. Budget restrictions limit what the Clinic Director can do to incentivize attendance. The clinic can also be difficult to get to if the parents do not know where to go in the medical center or are easily overwhelmed by the hospital environment. So far this year the League has purchased the items to incentivize attendance with the first 78 families being our baseline. This setting also lends itself to assistance with the Nurse Family Partnership Program and PICU.