PEWAUKEE, WI – November 17, 2017  – The Wellness Network (TWN), a national leader in actionable patient education and My NICU Network, a collaborative comprised of three respected organizations involved in professional and parent education and support of high-risk newborns and their families, have partnered to offer NICU Staff Education and Family Support.

NICU Staff Education and Family Support was developed to deliver timely hospital staff education and family support resources to hospital NICU departments across the US.  “NICU professionals do an incredible job of caring for fragile, medically complicated newborns,” said Sara Mosher RN, BSN, MHA, My NICU Network co-creator and Founder of Patient+Family Care. “However, studies have shown that family-centered care and engaged parents are as critical as sophisticated medical technologies to the continued improvement and eventual home discharge of NICU babies.”

My NICU Network created a NICU staff education course called Caring for NICU Babies and their Families: Providing Psychosocial Support in the NICU based on the National Perinatal Association’s “Interdisciplinary Recommendations for the Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents,” published in the Journal of Perinatology. My NICU Network, a collaboration between National Perinatal Association (NPA), Patient+Family Care (PFC) and Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA), developed this 7-module online continuing education series to fill known gaps in neonatal unit staff education. The program modules, which can be taken individually or as the full course, offer CEU credit accredited by PAC/LAC. Modules provide much-needed staff training and education to improve psychosocial support of families, including family-centered developmental care. Lessons focus on communication skills, emotional and peer-to-peer support, palliative and bereavement care, discharge planning and follow-up, and staff support.

A key feature of the educational course is that NICU graduate parents were involved in content creation from its inception. “We wanted NICU staff to understand the parent experience from our point of view, to personalize the medical literature and statistics. Doing so will help them meet the emotional needs of future NICU parents thus preparing the parents to advocate for their fragile babies well beyond NICU discharge,” said Keira Sorrells, Founder and President of the Preemie Parent Alliance, My NICU Network co-creator. Learning points are illustrated with quotes from parents, letting NICU staff “walk a mile in their shoes.”

“Equally as important to improved outcomes are clinically accurate yet relatable tools to help families navigate the NICU experience and their transition home,” noted Sue Hall, MD, Neonatologist and NPA Board member, My NICU Network co-creator, and Chief Medical Officer of The Wellness Network’s Your NICU Baby neonatal video and resource library.  “It is critical to have a bridge between staff education and family-centered resources so NICU staff have the tools needed to support and engage NICU families coping with this intense and complicated environment, as they work through their baby’s health challenges.”

Your NICU Baby Neonatal video and resource library, by The Wellness Network, offers 66 educational videos and 45 PDF handouts that help families successfully navigate the NICU experience and transition home. These guideline-compliant educational resources help parents and extended family members understand procedures, protocols, medical conditions and infant care so they can better adapt to baby’s NICU stay and prepare for taking care of baby once they head home. Personal stories and insights shared by experts and other NICU families help support the best outcomes for both baby and family. The on-demand content helps reassure them about the care baby is receiving, answers their questions and gives them confidence in their ability to help their early arrival or medically fragile baby thrive.

The collaborative is pleased to have financial support of the NICU Staff Education and Family Support Program by Medela LLC. “We are proud to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to healthy outcomes of this vulnerable population through support of advancing staff education and access to parent resources,” said Susan Rappin, vice president of marketing for Medela LLC.

For more information about NICU Staff Education and Family Support click here.

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About The Wellness Network (TWN)

The Wellness Network (TWN) is a national leader in actionable patient education and engagement, with a range of education and technology solutions that improve outcomes for health systems, employers, health care providers, and advertisers. The Wellness Network enjoys an unprecedented reach in the US, supporting over 2400 healthcare facilities discharging 28 million patients annually. TWN is actively working to expand its reach and usefulness across the spectrum of consumer health, including a direct-to-consumer parenting and pediatrics website averaging one million unique visitors per month. TWN enjoys strategic partnerships with several national health organizations including American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators, The Joint Commission and now American Lung Association. These relationships are aimed at connecting technology, education, research and experts to develop impactful resources to improve patient outcomes.

About My NICU Network

My NICU Network was developed when three passionate and experienced women, with the support of their respected organizations (National Perinatal Association (NPA), Patient+Family Care (PFC) and Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA)), came together to address the known gap that neonatal units still have work to do to improve their family-centered care and family support practices. Based on the overwhelming evidence that families of babies hospitalized in the NICU should be intimately involved in the babies’ care from the moment they are admitted in order to facilitate optimal healing for both baby and family, and to ensure a strong and healthy family unit at the time of the baby’s discharge and beyond, these women were determined to not only help support NICU professionals learn the importance of supporting families but also provide them the tools necessary to improve their daily practices. With their leadership and their strategic vision, along with a team of other professionals and NICU graduate parents, MyNICUnetwork was born.  For more information, visit http://www.mynicunetwork.com.

About Medela

Founded in 1961, Medela is led by Michael Larsson and concentrates on two business units: “Human Milk,” providing research-based breast milk feeding solutions, and “Healthcare,” engineering and manufacturing medical vacuum technology solutions. Medela is headquartered in Switzerland and has 18 subsidiaries, distributing its products to more than 100 countries throughout the world. For more information, visit www.Medela.com.

About Medela LLC

Medela’s US-based manufacturing and development facility is headquartered in McHenry, Illinois. Every year, more than one million mothers in the U.S. rely on Medela’s technology. As the #1 breast pump brand*, Medela provides the best in research-based breast milk feeding products and clinical education to support moms breast milk feeding journey. The company is fully dedicated to supporting mothers so that they can provide breast milk to their baby for as long as they choose. For more information, visit www.MedelaBreastfeedingUS.com.

*QuintilesIMS ProVoice Survey; Nov-Oct 2016.