Health Team

Hospital Liaison Program Has Help for Preemies' Parents

A March of Dimes-sponsored program provides liaison staff to help parents learn and to help with communication.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — One in 10 newborns is born prematurely and needs special intensive care, and the parents may need special help during that time, too.

Now, at UNC Children's Hospital, the March of Dimes has established a family-support program for families with babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit.

A grant from the March of Dimes will help provide liaisons to help with communication between hospital staff and parents. They also will work with families during the transition home and in the event that doctors and nurses cannot save a newborn.

Brice was one of triplets to whom Lyndsey Addison gave birth on July 2. Brother Gavin went home last week, but their sister died.

The mother says the extra human touch from a March of Dimes liason helps.

The liaison was “just giving us information, providing us with books, pamphlets, general information on premature babies. Because you're thrown into that situation, you just don't know,” Lyndsey Addison said.

The March of Dimes family-support program at UNC is the first of its kind in the state and the 39th such site in the country.