Watching your beloved premature or ill newborn need life-saving or specialized treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be a challenging experience. However, knowing your baby is receiving the best care possible can bring reassurance to worried parents and families. Thanks to a generous donation of $37,700 from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, babies at the Grey Nuns and Misericordia Community Hospitals in Edmonton are receiving enhanced care from Covenant teams equipped with new, leading-edge equipment.
“Alberta families depend on Covenant Health hospitals for the care they need in their most difficult times," said Sandra Schmirler Foundation Executive Director Darren McEwen. "The Foundation was motivated to provide this gift to Covenant Foundation because we know more and more babies are born premature or critically ill and require special equipment, like a CPAP machine made to fit infants, to help them have the best outcomes they can.”
In addition to five machine-driven CPAP machines, which help premature babies breathe better and can reduce the need for intubation and ventilation, the Foundation’s generous gift also supports the purchase of a NICU Infusion Pump Wall Mount System, Neopuff, CPR training materials and Biliblankets.
This equipment is designed to give premature and critically ill babies comfortable and efficient care to ensure they achieve the best outcomes possible.
The NICU Infusion Pump Wall Mount System safely houses infusion pumps that deliver precise volumes of fluid and nutrition to babies through IVs or feeding tubes, ensuring families can stay closer to newborns without vital equipment blocking access.
Similarly, a Neopuff is a T-piece resuscitator that delivers precise breathing assistance to a newborn, regardless of the machine user’s experience level, to provide more protection for their lungs.
The BiliSoft™ 2.0 Phototherapy System provides intensive phototherapy that treats jaundice in infants. Because the biliblankets are more versatile than standard phototherapy light systems, there is no barrier to bonding between infant and parents or caregivers. Babies can be held, fed and rocked throughout the therapy session, promoting a healing environment without interrupting the benefits of skin-to-skin care.
When it’s time to go home with a baby that has spent time in the NICU, families may have lingering worries about what to do if their newborn experiences a life-threatening event at home. With the CPR training materials funded by the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, Covenant NICU teams can educate family members to be effective first responders during emergency events involving their infants. This helps ensure a safe transition from the NICU to the home and can ease anxiety in parents and families.
This is not the first time the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has championed Covenant’s tiniest patients. Over the past six years, the Foundation has donated more than $170,000 to Covenant Foundation to provide leading-edge equipment for the NICUs at the Grey Nuns and Misericordia Community Hospitals. Founded in 2001 with a mission of fundraising to purchase life-saving equipment for babies born premature and critically ill, the team at the Sandra Schmirler Foundation deeply understands how important this life-saving equipment is for newborns and their families.
“I am inspired by the Sandra Schmirler Foundation’s generosity, which will make a tremendous difference for the thousands of babies the Misericordia and Grey Nuns hospitals serve each year,” said Covenant Foundation development officer Chris McKenzie. “The Foundation’s ongoing support is one of the reasons why Covenant’s NICUs in Edmonton are so well equipped to provide vital care to newborns and bring peace of mind to their families.”
With the support of donors like the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, our foundation is proud to equip and support healthcare staff in Covenant’s NICUs with the leading-edge tools and training they need to provide efficient, compassionate and life-saving care. Investments in this leading-edge equipment not only helps healthcare staff provide better care, but it can help bring parents and families more peace of mind while their child is in the NICU.
Thanks to the generosity and ongoing partnership of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, Covenant Foundation is empowered to continue supporting excellence in children’s health care. Together, we are advancing care for Covenant’s smallest patients.
Written by Kate Dawson
1 in 5 babies in Alberta is born in a Covenant hospital. To help ensure they continue to get the best care possible, please make your gift today. Thank you for making a difference for some of the most vulnerable patients we support!
Read more about the Sandra Schmirler Foundation: