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Preemies Celebrate at NICU Reunion

Over 150 kids and families to meet and celebrate their success

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Tomorrow, Saturday, June 4th, from 11 am to 3 pm, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is holding a reunion. This special reunion is for infants who “graduated” from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). These graduates and their families come back to celebrate the life-saving care provided by the NICU doctors, nurses and staff.

The NICU reunion has been held every two years since 1984, so some of graduates are already in their 20s. Starting this year the NICU Reunion will be held annually. More than 150 people are expected to attend this year’s gathering.

“The reunion is very meaningful to everyone involved,” said Dr. Balaji Govindaswami, Director of the NICU. “These families go through a lot of different emotions during the first days and weeks of their child’s life. Every family coming to the reunion has been through this. A special bond is created with their caregivers, and even other families who have gone through similar circumstances. This bond can last a lifetime.”

The NICU Reunion is a time for staff members to see the children, adolescents and young adults they treated as infants. The fact that the graduates are living their lives shows how special this work is, and reaffirms its value and significance.

The reunion kicks off at 11:00 am with entertainment for everyone including face painting by a NICU mom, carnival games and prizes, bouncy house for kids, and photo booths. There will be an appearance by Sharkie, lunch and treats will also be served.

The event will take place – rain or shine - at the Timpany Center, 730 Empey Way, San Jose, which is on the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center campus.

About the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SCVMC
The NICU at SCVMC is 1 of only 23 units in California designated a Regional Level III facility, the highest designation given by California Children’s Services (CCS). The NICU earned that designation because it can take care of the most complicated conditions in neonatology. Neonatologists and staff regularly treat premature and newborn infants for a wide range of conditions such as birth defects, birth apnea, birth asphyxia, and infectious diseases. The NICU also provides the very specialized service of treating hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy with body cooling therapy.

Additionally, the March of Dimes has chosen the NICU at SCVMC to be its Northern California site for the NICU Family Support Program. This program involves extending a family-friendly focus by providing additional services and resources to meet the needs of relatives and family during the hospitalization, the transition home, and even in the difficult circumstances as a newborn death.

Media Contact
For more information prior to the event, contact Joy Alexiou at 408.885.4164.

Event Contact
If you plan on attending the event, contact Dr. Sunshine Weiss, Director of Family Centered Care at the NICU. Dr. Weiss can be reached at 408.594.1025.

Media Contact: Joy Alexiou, Public Information Officer, Health and Hospital System (408)885-4164
Posted: June 3, 2011