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March of Dimes Honors Lourdes Special Care Nursery Team with Born to Shine Award

March of Dimes Honors Lourdes Special Care Nursery Team with Born to Shine Award

Pictured — (top row, left to right):  Susan Troupe, RN, Nikia Krouse, RN, Sylvia Aquino, RN, and Dr. Margaret Fernandes, Chief, division of Neonatology, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center; (bottom, left to right):  Patricia Heard, Unit Secretary, Gail Mielish, RN; and Patricia Cerveny, Nurse Manger, Women's and Children's Services, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center.   Not pictured:  Lori Attanasio, RN; Teresa Baker, RN; Mary Ballard, RN; Patricia Butler, RN; Nancy Erasmus, RN; Mary Falco, Unit Secretary; Sandra Hafycz, RN; Kelly Hoyt, RN; Effie Lao, RN; Maria Ma, RN; Kathryn Malcarney, RN; Karen Meacham, RN; Patricia Peterson, RN; Georgiann Pino Gifford, RN; Ofelia Torrevillas, RN; and Kari Wames, RN.

Pictured — (top row, left to right): Susan Troupe, RN, Nikia Krouse, RN, Sylvia Aquino, RN, and Dr. Margaret Fernandes, Chief, division of Neonatology, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center; (bottom, left to right): Patricia Heard, Unit Secretary, Gail Mielish, RN; and Patricia Cerveny, Nurse Manger, Women’s and Children’s Services, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center.
Not pictured: Lori Attanasio, RN; Teresa Baker, RN; Mary Ballard, RN; Patricia Butler, RN; Nancy Erasmus, RN; Mary Falco, Unit Secretary; Sandra Hafycz, RN; Kelly Hoyt, RN; Effie Lao, RN; Maria Ma, RN; Kathryn Malcarney, RN; Karen Meacham, RN; Patricia Peterson, RN; Georgiann Pino Gifford, RN; Ofelia Torrevillas, RN; and Kari Wames, RN.

The nursing team at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center’s Special Care Nursery (SCN) was recently awarded the 2016 March of Dimes Foundation’s Born to Shine award. The award was presented at the March of Dimes New Jersey Chapter annual gala on October 22. The prestigious award honors local top clinicians for their dedication and work in the fields of maternal and child health.

“Lourdes is a leader of neonatal care in the southern New Jersey region,” said Mark Nessel, Executive vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lourdes Health System. “Our nursing team’s commitment to clinical excellence and dedication to babies and their families makes them truly deserving of this award. We are honored that the March of Dimes is recognizing our SCN team with this distinguished award.”

For nearly six decades, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center has been a regional leader in neonatal care, with dedicated nurses providing comprehensive, compassionate care to premature and sick newborns and their families.

“Our nursing team has a long tradition of providing outstanding care to babies in need of medical help,” said Lourdes Chief of Neonatology Margaret Fernandes, MD, a previous March of Dimes honoree. “Providing outstanding patient care is our utmost priority, as demonstrated every day by our nurses and our whole clinical team.”

Neonatology was one of the first tertiary care services offered at Lourdes. Since 1960, when Lourdes purchased the world’s smallest resuscitator for preemies, the Special Care Nursery nursing team has worked tirelessly to provide non-stop care to the medically fragile infants. Since then, Lourdes added to its “high-tech” resources, and a multidisciplinary team of internationally recognized specialists and nurses using the latest technologies work collaboratively to provide high-quality, high-touch care that has made all the difference for babies and their families.

Today, Lourdes’ 15-bed SCN cares for about 350 babies annually. The SCN is equipped to care for babies who are born at greater than 32 weeks’ gestation and weigh greater than 1,500 grams. The SCN nursing team work seamlessly with their physician counterparts to achieve the highest level of care. Many of the nurses have been with Lourdes for decades, a true testament to the place these special babies and their families have in their hearts. And another testament to their care is the outpouring of love and compassion families show through letters, updates and photos.

Regularly, the team holds patient reunions, joyously reuniting the nurses with now-thriving children and young adults. The bonds of love and appreciation remain strong.

Lourdes nurses and its clinical team have continued a tradition of advancing neonatal care. Special highlights from the unit could not have been made possible without them. These include:

  • Lourdes was one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to save a baby weighing less than 1 pound. When the baby was born in 1988, she was the smallest baby ever to survive in New Jersey.
  • Lourdes was first system in the state to offer a maternal and infant transport service.
  • Through a relationship with Wills Eye Hospital, Lourdes was the first hospital in the United States to offer laser eye surgery for babies who might otherwise be blind. These procedures were performed at the  bedside at Lourdes.
  • Lourdes was the first hospital in South Jersey to use nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to assist babies with Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
  • Lourdes was the first hospital in South Jersey to provide surfactant replacement for premature infants with Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
  • Lourdes was one of the first hospitals in the nation to use bar coding technology on bracelets for premature infants. The bar code scanning system makes sure babies receive the right medication, at the right time, in the right dose.

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