Every day, our nursing team at Sarasota Memorial Health Care’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides around-the-clock care for the hospital’s tiniest patients. Once a year, we go a step further as part of a national event to support March of Dimes.
March for Babies raises money to:
- Fund research on the causes of premature birth and ways to prevent it.
- Support families who have newborns in intensive care.
- Help women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.
As a nurse, I’ve seen first-hand the impact of the work March of Dimes (MOD) has done to help nurses provide better outcomes for babies. When a baby is born too early, one of the biggest problems is the lack of development of the sacs that allow the lungs to fill with air. This is why premature babies have respiratory issues. Thanks to research funded in part by March of Dimes, we now have surfactant that we can give to a baby when he or she is born to help open those sacs and allow for better oxygenation.
March of Dimes also educates families prior to and during pregnancy, as well as after a premature baby is born. At Sarasota Memorial, we distribute MOD’s educational materials to expectant parents and after delivery in both English and Spanish. When our physicians and nurses, hospital staff, families of babies we’ve treated, and even our suppliers and vendors come out to walk, we all have the goal of supporting March of Dimes and a team approach that fosters better outcomes for babies.
I’m pleased to be co-chair of the March for Babies event in Sarasota, Florida, on Saturday, May 2, along with Voalte Chief Nursing Officer Candace Smith. Last year, the Sarasota-Manatee County event was thrilled to increase our fundraising total to more than $225,000 for March of Dimes. This year’s goal is to raise another $20,000. Sarasota Memorial’s goal this year is $10,000.
Everyone can make a difference! Join a March for Babies event in your area, or make an online contribution to the Sarasota Memorial team.
Debbie Harman, RNC, BA, CBC, is Clinical Manager of Neonatal Services at Sarasota Memorial Health Care in Sarasota, Florida.