NEW ALBANY — A recent grant and donations totaling more than $332,000 are expected to provide a boost to babies born at Baptist Health Floyd who need special early care.
The Floyd Memorial Foundation was recently notified it will receive more than $299,000 through a grant from Kosair Charities, with more than $33,000 coming from the WHAS Crusade for Children, to expand neonatal services at the New Albany hospital — funds staff say are much-needed to improve services available to families of babies needing extra care.
“We have such a great relationship between the Foundation, Kosair Charities, the Crusade for Children,” said Emily Banet, Women’s Services manager at Baptist Health Floyd. “They have been a huge supporter of us for a really long time and I am elated with this latest gift. I’m really excited about what we can do and what we can bring to the facility because of that.”
The monies will be used to replace and purchase additional Giraffe and Panda Incubator care stations, special beds for newborns who may need extra care through supplemental oxygen or other treatments. The hospital now has two Giraffe stations, which are for more acute care, and one Panda care station. The grant will also be used for new cribs in the nursery.
Of the roughly 1,200 children born each year at Baptist Health Floyd, 50 to 70 or more have needs that have to be met at one of the Norton’s hospitals in Louisville with NICU certification, as their mothers remain at Baptist Health Floyd, Banet said. The causes can vary, but often are related to a respiratory issue the baby is having. In some cases, it could be a situation with blood sugar.
“There are so many different variables,” said Meredith Lambe, director with the Floyd Memorial Foundation. “You could have a mother who’s high-risk due to her age or if she has some underlying condition before pregnancy or developed during pregnancy. Maybe she has gestational diabetes. That may have some impact on the baby’s health during pregnancy.”
She said that while Baptist Health staff is already trained in the care these babies need, what the hospital had lacked was enough of the high-technology equipment for that care.
“Having the equipment readily available is going to be able to offer so much more to those babies who need critical services,” Lambe said, adding that while it won’t mean a push to a fully certified NICU, “it’s getting us in the right direction.”
Banet said the added care is necessary to not only treat the babies, but keep them close to their families in those crucial first days and weeks of life.
“That really is the key — reducing that separation,” Banet said. “It’s very important to keep them together. That’s such a hard time…it’s such an exciting time in a person’s life and then to be separated, it breaks that bond and we don’t want to do that.
“Our goal is to do everything we can to keep that baby here and keep those families together.”