Lions Park to host NICU event tomorrow


Tomorrow more than 2,500 former St.Vincent Newborn Intensive Care Unit patient families will reconnect with the clinicians and associates, who cared for them as medically-fragile infants, at the 16th annual NICU Reunion at Zionsville Lions Park.

Each year, families from across the state gather to remember their NICU experience and celebrate at the reunion. Attendees participate in pony rides, face painting, rock wall climbing, play in the inflatable area, and enjoy games and complimentary snacks.

The Steele family will be attending for the first time this year. Allison and Gavin Steele gave birth to their first child, Maeve, on Jan. 28, 2014 at 28-weeks and four days via a C-section. The Franklin, Ind. couple was transported to St.Vincent Women’s Hospital – the only hospital in Indiana and the second hospital in the nation to achieve Joint Commission disease-specific certification in high-risk obstetrics care – after going into labor at just 27-weeks. Maeve spent the first 56 days of her life in the NICU at St.Vincent Women’s Hospital before she was able to go home. The family will reunite with many of the clinicians who cared for Maeve during her first two fragile months of life.

Physicians, nurses and associates at St.Vincent Women’s and St.Vincent Carmel hospitals care for some of the most high-risk pregnancies and multiple births in Indiana. The two faith-based hospitals deliver more than 5,000 babies a year. The family-focused practice of keeping the neonate with the mother at the hospital establishes St.Vincent as a leader in perinatal care throughout the state.

St.Vincent Women’s Hospital is Indiana’s only dedicated women’s hospital providing the most comprehensive women’s health services. The faith-based hospital has 48 private rooms, a 26-bed High-Risk Obstetrics Unit, a 75-bed Level IV NICU and 12-bed Neonatal Continuing Care Unit. The hospital also has the largest group of maternal-fetal medicine physicians in Indiana.

St.Vincent Carmel Hospital is equipped with a Level III NICU featuring recently renovated private rooms, which can also accommodate twins and triplets. Private rooms are more conducive for improved developmental outcomes, allowing the medically-fragile babies to be cared for in a quieter environment with less interruption.

Both NICU locations are staffed with obstetrician/gynecologists, anesthesiologists and neonatologists 24/7.

In 1998, the NICU celebration was first organized by a St.Vincent nurse in her basement. The nurse and her team searched through a phonebook to identify and invite 500 patients and families to the inaugural event.  It has now grown to an annual attendance of more than 2,500.

To see photos of the event, check next week.