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Thirtieth 5K Supports Special Project

December 4, 2017
Like all of GBMC, the NICU focuses on patient's long-term health and well-being, not just the traditional model of episodic care. In this spirit, for the last 29 years, GBMC has held a Father's Day 5K Run & 1-mile Fun Walk, which has raised more than $1.8 million.

This Father's Day event brings together families whose children's lives have been saved in the NICU, the medical staff that provided the treatment, and people who feel strongly about health and continued excellence in NICU care. Through this event, GBMC forges an atmosphere of wellness for patients, staff and the community as well as a strong connection to the NICU.

NICU father, incubator daughter
The generous participants, sponsors, volunteers and fundraisers have supported critical programs and initiatives in the unit since 1987, and for our 30th anniversary of this event, we are excited to take it to the next level: fundraising to support a renovation of our NICU space!

With patient-centered care at the heart of our work, we are updating and renovating our NICU to meet the needs of all the new precious lives that begin here at GBMC. The new, 7,700 square foot NICU -- refreshed with a friendly palette of colors and 13 new, private single-family rooms (SFR) lined with windows that share glimpses of nature -- will welcome our tiniest new babies and their families.

The refreshed NICU unit will offer a more private environment, allowing clinicians to focus on each infant's individual needs while facilitating communication, bonding and integration of the family. Our goal is to provide an enriched environment for the infant and family to complement the leading-edge care already being provided to these highly vulnerable patients.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Birenbaum and his high-functioning team to work in a space that reflects the state-of-the-art care they already provide.

Funds raised from past 5Ks have supported specialized NICU incubators to minimize infant transfer and to improve patient safety as well as supported our ability to maintain the Nitric Oxide Therapy program at GBMC. It is the best treatment for infants 34 weeks or greater with hypoxemic respiratory failure, and decreases the need for other therapies.

Funds raised have also underwritten GBMC's participation in the Vermont Oxford Network, a national NICU benchmarking initiative that identifies and promotes best practice in the care of high-risk infants and supports quality improvement. The NICU participates in VON's iNICQ, a learning collaborative providing an opportunity for clinical research and opportunities for quality improvement.

In providing outstanding and thoughtful patient care, the NICU has also reduced the risk of chronic lung disease in low birth weight babies by 75 percent by managing respiratory support primarily by non-invasive means. Chronic lung disease can result in prolonged hospital stays, continuation of oxygen therapy after hospital discharge, readmission to the hospital because of significant respiratory problem and, in severe cases, neurodevelopmental delays. Since 2010, very few infants have been discharged home on supplemental oxygen, and our length of stay is in the lowest quartile for the Vermont Oxford Network.
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