Last week I had the privilege of attending the National Premature Infant Health Coalition (NPIHC) Summit in Washington, DC. Those in attendance heard speakers on Kangaroo Care, Developmental Care, and the use of social media in the world of prematurity. All of the sessions were enlightening and educational. I was especially moved by the information shared regarding skin-to-skin contact with newborns, and the importance of parental involvement in every NICU baby's care. In addition, the summit gave Eli's Hope the opportunity to make some significant connections with both medical/professional and parent-led organizations. These connections are opening doors for us as we move forward in serving our first hospital (St. Alexius Medical Center) and its NICU parents. For example, I met several representatives from MedImmune who connected me with their advocacy division, which provides a wealth of educational materials for nonprofits like us. The medical/professional groups seemed to be very excited that there were at least 7 parent-led organizations represented at the summit. It was refreshing to see the openness and willingness to collaborate among all the groups, and we look forward to seeing these relationships grow as we forge ahead and strengthen each other's missions in the months to come! After all, we share the same ultimate goal -- the betterment of the lives of NICU babies everywhere, and their families. I am extremely thankful to God for making this trip a reality for me. I also want to thank Keira Sorrells of the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation for everything she did to make this trip possible as well . . . and I look forward to the opportunity to pay it forward some day!
Jessica Guthrie, Executive Director of Eli's Hope