Hospital Ball Benefits NICU
Nicholas and Lisa Lynn have at least two good reasons to look forward to the 2009 FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Ball.
First of all, they have been asked to serve as chairs of the annual gala.
Also, and most importantly from their perspective, the Auxiliary has decided to direct proceeds from the event to support the care of critically ill and premature newborns at Moore Regional's Clarke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Nicholas Lynn has been medical director of the 16-bed Level III intensive care nursery since 2005.
"We're thrilled," he says. "We feel honored for this opportunity to represent the NICU and the hospital community as a whole. We're really looking forward to it."
The Holiday Ball will be held Friday, Dec. 11, at the Carolina Hotel Ballroom in Pinehurst.
Each year, the NICU treats about 275 critically ill and premature infants with a gestational age of 28 weeks or greater who generally weigh at least 2 to 2.5 pounds at birth. The funds generated by the ball proceeds will be used to acquire two Giraffe Omni Beds, new-generation incubators that are fully equipped to facilitate life support for these medically fragile patients.
In an environment where the tiniest hospital patients require a warm and comfortable bed to support their development, the Omni beds provide uninterrupted warming support while giving the attending physicians and nurses complete and immediate patient access to perform procedures and provide lifesaving care.
Parents also appreciate the Omni beds, because babies are easy to see and touch while they get the support they need.
According to Auxiliary Chair Fay Terry, the decision to support the NICU grew out of a discussion about the Auxiliary's ongoing support of the soon-to-be-constructed FirstHealth Hospitality House.
"When we began thinking about a project for the ball that would be something to help a specific population, it became obvious that many of the families who would need the services provided by the Hospitality House would be parents of newborns who were not yet able to go home and needed care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," Terry says.
"This seemed to be a nice connection with some of the things we have been working for with previous balls, such as the Hospice House and the Hospitality House, and gives us the opportunity to help with something directly related to patient care on the Moore Regional campus."
While the average length of stay for infants in the NICU is about 15 days, babies sometimes remain in the unit for 90 to 120 days before being discharged.
Moore Regional's NICU already has six of the Giraffe incubators, but Dr. Lynn hopes eventually to acquire enough to accommodate each infant patient who needs it.
"These beds enable specialized care without the babies having to be moved to another bed once they leave the labor and delivery area," says Terry. "The Auxiliary feels very good about this opportunity to be involved with infant care, bringing our fundraising efforts to another point in the circle of life."
The Lynns moved to Moore County in 2003 when Dr. Lynn joined the Moore Regional Hospital medical staff as a neonatologist in the Clarke NICU.
He is originally from Maryland, and Lisa is from Tennessee. They met when both were students at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and were married after both had graduated.
Lynn earned his medical degree from Ohio State University in Columbus and then did a three-year residency in pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham and a two-year fellowship in neonatology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.
Board-certified in general pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine, he was named Moore Regional's Physician of the Year earlier this year.
Lisa Lynn has a master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a former high school teacher. She now oversees the operation of their farm near Carthage where they train herding dogs for competition. Both are former officers in the Moore County Kennel Club.
Lynn says he is very grateful for the Auxiliary's decision to support the NICU at Moore Regional, which he calls a "wonderful service" for infants and families throughout the Sandhills.
"It's more than providing care for Moore County," he says. "While we get most of our babies from Moore County, we frequently provide care to babies and families from all of the neighboring counties -- Richmond, Scotland, Montgomery, Lee and Hoke."
In addition to Lynn, the NICU staff includes a second neonatologist, Michael Wisniewski, M.D., and specially trained nurses and neonatal nurse practitioners.
Founded in 1930, the Hospital Auxiliary has a long-standing tradition of providing support to newborns and, in addition to the ball project, has underwritten several ongoing programs benefiting newborns at Moore Regional. These range from continuing education for NICU nurse practitioners to providing appropriate car seats to discharged newborns in certain circumstances and underwriting the rental cost of electric breast pumps for low-income parents.
Brenda Bouser works for the corporate communications office of FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
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