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Posts under: Stories from the NICU

Part I: A Mother’s NICU Story

May 2017 Blog, Stories from the NICU no comments

I hadn’t been feeling well that day, kind of achy like the flu, but I figured this was the most exhausting Christmas Break on record, and I was 36½ weeks pregnant, so it made sense that I wasn’t feeling that great. I packed lunches and took the kids to the park. I promised that if everyone came when I said it was time to leave we could get dessert on the way home. After the park and on the way home, I was completely wiped out. I asked my oldest daughter to put on a movie for the younger kids while I took a nap. All the while I was beginning to experience persistent low pressure in my back that I wasn’t going to admit was contractions. It was too early for that to be starting.

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Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd!

April 2017 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd!

April is National Multiple Birth Awareness Month. In 2015, multiple births accounted for 3.6% of all live births. Almost half of all twins are born prematurely and/or have low birth weight; 90% of triplet, quadruplet, and quintuplet babies are born prematurely and/or have low birth weight.

As a nurse case manager at ProgenyHealth, I enjoy helping new parents of multiples work through their own challenges. I recently had the privilege of providing case management to a family with triplets. Alexander, Belle, and Christopher were born at 26 weeks and they each weighed about two pounds. continue reading

A ProgenyHealth Nurse Case Manager’s Tips for NICU Parents

November 2016 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on A ProgenyHealth Nurse Case Manager’s Tips for NICU Parents

As we observe Prematurity Awareness Month, one of our nurse case managers shares her tips for parents whose babies are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or special care nursery as a result of their premature birth or medically complex condition.

Natalie has been a Registered Nurse for 22 years and 16 of those years were spent in the NICU. Her job was to care for babies that should have been safe and growing in their mother’s womb.  Natalie recalls some preterm babies being so small that they could fit in the palm of your hand. Natalie said that it is so rewarding to help a baby born this small survive, and months later see them go home with their parents. She not only helped tiny premature and medically complex babies survive, but she also supported their families during their child’s NICU stay.  It was her passion to help these families that brought her to ProgenyHealth as a NICU Case Manager.  The NICU is a challenging, very fast paced environment making it difficult for many parents. Here are some things that Natalie learned through her many years in the NICU that she shares with families during what can be one of the most stressful times in their life: continue reading

NICU Dad Pays-“IT”-Forward

June 2016 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on NICU Dad Pays-“IT”-Forward

Author: Jim Clarke, Senior Manager of Information Technology

As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, I pause to reflect on how blessed I am to be the father of two happy, healthy toddlers; Jimmy (age 4) and Johnny (age 3).  The boys are always full of surprises, however, the biggest surprise as a [soon-to-be] parent was having experienced the NICU not once, but twice. continue reading

At ProgenyHealth, NICU means Neonatal Intensive Collaboration Unit!

May 2016 Blog, Health Management, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on At ProgenyHealth, NICU means Neonatal Intensive Collaboration Unit!

What is collaboration? Wikipedia defines it as the process of two or more people or organizations working together to realize shared goals. Central to successful collaboration is identification of a common purpose, the shared goal that everyone on the team is working towards.

At ProgenyHealth our mission clearly defines that common purpose:

With passion and a singular focus, we improve the health outcomes of premature and medically complex newborns through provider collaboration and parental engagement.

From the moment a newborn is referred to ProgenyHealth, the family is surrounded by dedicated health care professionals whose focus is supporting them through this difficult time while maximizing their newborn’s health outcomes. This is accomplished through directing the efficient use of clinical resources in a manner that promotes quality health care.

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A Safe Passage from the NICU to Home: The Importance of Health Literacy and Discharge Instructions

March 2016 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on A Safe Passage from the NICU to Home: The Importance of Health Literacy and Discharge Instructions

Nearly half of all US adults have difficulty understanding and using health information. To the nurses at ProgenyHealth, health literacy is the ability of parents whose newborn(s) are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to attain, process, and understand health information and services needed to make informed decisions.

One issue healthcare is faced with is whether parents truly understand the discharge instructions and are able to apply the information provided to them once they are in the home setting. Taking an infant home is an anxious time for parents and limited parent/caregiver health literacy can result in increased stress and poor compliance with discharge instructions. Poor health literacy among parents can lead to increased infant mortality and morbidity along with increased cost of healthcare after discharge, especially with infants who have complex medical issues. If not appropriately prepared for discharge, limited literacy leads to increased hospitalizations, errors with medication administration, less knowledge of disease management and health promoting behaviors. Additionally caregivers are less likely to follow the discharge plan or use preventative services.

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World Prematurity Day: A Strategy to Impact Care & Costs

November 2015 Blog, Health Management, Stories from the NICU, The Business of Health Care 1 comment

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and today marks World Prematurity Day, where various organizations focus the nation’s attention on premature birth. According to the CDC, last year one in every nine babies was born premature in the United States. That’s approximately 450,000 babies each year.

Premature birth is a major driver of health insurance costs. In 2007, the Institute of Medicine reported that the cost associated with medical and health care services for preterm infants was $16.9 billion, with more than 85 percent of those medical care services delivered in infancy. Comparatively, the average medical cost for a healthy baby is $4,389, but for a premature baby it jumps to $54,194. That is a considerable difference. One strategy to reduce costs is to work with a team of NICU experts who can manage the ongoing care management needs of these high risk infants and their families. At ProgenyHealth, we feel that there is a significant opportunity to simultaneously improve outcomes and reduce the costs to the health care system.

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The “Care” in NICU Care Management

September 2015 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on The “Care” in NICU Care Management



Through proactive, frequent communication with providers and the families of medically complex infants, quality naturally improves and costs naturally diminish


. . . this was the catalyst that inspired Dr. Stang to establish ProgenyHealth—a mission-driven organization solely focused on care management for infants who begin life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Individualized care management is an excellent vehicle to address the values, needs, preferences, and circumstances of each family. I’d like to share a recent success story with you that celebrates the delicate balance of art and science involved in empowering families of medically complex newborns and highlights our case management program.

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The Important Role a Lactation Consultant Plays in Helping Mother-Baby Pair in the NICU

August 2015 Blog, Breastfeeding, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on The Important Role a Lactation Consultant Plays in Helping Mother-Baby Pair in the NICU

Every August, World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in more than 170 countries around the globe. It is an annual reminder to improve the health of babies around the world by encouraging breastfeeding. Breast milk is the ideal food for babies. It is an amazing “brain food,” containing more than 200 ingredients that are specifically designed to provide the most ideal continue reading

15 Weeks Early: A Success Story

June 2015 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on 15 Weeks Early: A Success Story

Imagine you are barely six months pregnant and on a business trip from your home in Wisconsin to California, when quite unexpectedly you begin premature labor. Courtney, the mother in this story, delivered a baby boy weighing only 1 pound, 14 ounces at 25 weeks gestation. This presented a host of challenges that ProgenyHealth was equipped to handle. continue reading