Raven’s Ball donations will connect families with their babies in ANMC NICU, paddle raise to fund web-streaming cameras

March 11, 2019

The arrival of a newborn baby is an exciting and emotional event. But when a newborn’s first few critical days, weeks or even months are spent in the ANMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), parental joy can be met with unease of separation and the stress of managing regular visits. Donations from this year’s paddle raise at the annual Raven’s Ball will go toward ANMC NICU web-streaming cameras, which will allow families to remain connected with their newborn via a real-time video stream on a secure, password-protected feed. The 12th annual Raven’s Ball is on March 23 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. The ANMC NICU treats newborns who need additional care due to premature birth or complications that arise after delivery. Of the approximately 1,600 newborns delivered at ANMC in any given year, about 300 will require admission to the NICU. Many families travel vast distances from outside the Anchorage area for care, which may limit the amount of time they spend with their newborns. This can greatly impact mother-infant attachment, and many mothers have their own health issues in the immediate newborn period and are unable to visit the NICU. Additionally, for many reasons, the ANMC NICU employs strict visiting policies with limited access. NICU cameras connecting babies to their families have physical and psychological benefits, including helping mothers with lactation and introducing the newborn to siblings and other family members. Knowing that the baby is sleeping or resting comfortably helps ease parents’ anxiety. Funding these cameras for the ANMC NICU will mean that a dedicated camera will be mounted on the wall near the infant’s bed and will allow families 24/7 viewing of daily progress, ensuring they don’t miss special milestones, such as first seeing their child’s face after a ventilator is removed. The installation of NICU cameras will provide a more personalized approach to early care and ensure the best possible experience for our smallest patients and their families. Even if you are not attending the Raven’s Ball, you can still help families remain connected during a newborn’s critical first days by donating at: https://inspiringgoodhealth.org/nicu-web-cameras-donate/. Related story: Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation announces 2019 Luminary Award recipients

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