Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation Receives Generous Funding from March of Dimes to Support its NICU Family Support? Program

HACKENSACK, NJ – December 13, 2021 – Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation is pleased to announce generous funding from March of Dimes, the nation’s leader in mom and baby health, to support its NICU Family Support? Program at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, located at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center. 

March of Dimes partners with local hospitals to provide accurate, trusted, and meaningful information to support all families experiencing a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay.  March of Dimes created the NICU Family Support program to provide information and support to families throughout their NICU journey and empower them to be active caregivers while their baby is in the NICU.  Since its inception in 2001, the program educates NICU families, educates health care staff and improves the NICU experience, reaching more than 50,000 families each year.  The March of Dimes 2021 Report Card revealed last month that the U.S. preterm births declined slightly from 10.2% to 10.1%, but 1 in10 babies is still born preterm.  In New Jersey, the preterm birth rate is 9.3% and the rate for Black women is 51% higher than the rate for all other women.

“The addition of the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is simply wonderful and will bring added support to our babies and their families,” said Nicole Spillane, M.D., interim chief, Neonatology, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. “It is a priority for us to provide family-centered care in our NICU. Oftentimes, parents and extended family members feel worried and overwhelmed when their newest loved one is born too small, too soon or with a medical condition. The implementation of this program will allow us to expand our care for them through the availability of family-centered literature and to provide the latest training to our NICU team.” 

“March of Dimes is excited to welcome Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital as the newest NICU Family Support program in New Jersey,” said Kara Gilardi, MPH, director of NICU Family Support for March of Dimes. “Based on our 20 years of experience, we are confident that our partnership will contribute to the best possible outcomes for families and patients in the NICU.”

Funding also supports a dedicated NICU Family Support program coordinator who is responsible to coordinate program implementation and support NICU team members and families to improve the patient and family experience. 

“We are so pleased to have received funding from March of Dimes to implement the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program for our NICU patients and their families at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital,” said Amy Glazer, executive director, Children’s Health, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “We are so grateful for their generosity and know that this program will be an incredible benefit to our NICU families and our team members. Having the NICU Family Support program coordinator to oversee the program on site will also help us to improve the patient experience and ensure that we can support our families in a myriad of ways.” 

Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is equipped with a Level III Regional Perinatal Center that provides the highest level of care for high-risk mothers and acutely ill newborns using the most advanced technology and highly trained staff. The perinatal center ensures that the critical needs of the community’s most vulnerable newborns are met, while providing the best care available for pregnant women.

The NICU at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is the first and only NICU in the state to receive Disease Specific Certification for Prematurity  from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations for implementing a special small baby unit to improve survival without major morbidities in inborn infants < 30 weeks gestational age. 

To learn more about the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital or Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation and its Children’s Health initiatives, please contact Amy Glazer at amy.glazer@hmhn.org. To learn more about March of Dimes NICU Initiatives, contact Kara Gilardi at kgilardi@marchofdimes.org. 

About Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health
Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides the most comprehensive and highest level of quality care to young patients in the state of New Jersey. The children’s network is comprised of two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune – and a large network of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health hospitals are the only two in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital also ranks among the top 50 in the nation for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. Visit www.hackensackmerdianhealth.org/kids for more information about Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.

About March of Dimes: 

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we stand up for every mom and every baby. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


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