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Crouse Health Foundation announced plans to compete for an $8,500 grant through the CNY85 Giving Project to enhance the health of premature infants in Crouse Hospital’s Walter R. G. Baker Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The grant, if won, will provide the NICU with specialized seating conducive to Kangaroo Care, a practice important for premature infants and their parents to promote parent-child bonding and improve infant health.
An initiative of the Central New York Community Foundation, CNY85 will award grants to local nonprofit organizations in four areas of specialization who receive the most votes. All members of the Syracuse community are encouraged to go to the CNY85 website, click on the link to vote in the “Human Services, Health, and Housing” category for Crouse’s project. Each person can cast one vote per day from June 1 through June 30.
Crouse Hospital is the leading care provider for premature and low birth weight babies in Onondaga and Madison Counties as well as 15 other counties in CNY. Each year the hospital’s NICU provides medical attention to more than 800 infants in need. Named for the way kangaroos carry their young, Kangaroo Care involves the mother or father holding the infant at an angle with skin-to-skin contact. The process provides the closeness and warmth premature babies lose by their premature birth. The contact helps regulate the infant’s body temperature, and enhances respiration, vital signs, digestion and brain development.
“Crouse cares for greatest number of premature infants in the area, but the infants’ health requires more than incubators and medical attention, said Crouse Health Foundation President Carrie Berse. "There are babies in the NICU who could greatly benefit from this kind of care and we should make it as comfortable as possible for the family."