Lehigh Valley Hospital
Farewell for now….
I can remember when Colleen, Kerry, Leahn and I were in the NICU together. We would often talk about how important it was to know someone else understands what you’re going through, the need to talk to someone else and wanting desperately to speak to a parent who's child was older and know that we would all get through this somehow. I knew then how important a parent support group was and I still do today. It has been amazing watching the progress of the group since it started with just a handful of families almost 5 years ago. Today, the group sends monthly newsletters to almost 1000 families and has trained almost 40 support parents. We visit the NICU and PNU weekly and do monthly phone calls to discharged families to follow-up once they are home with their babies. We hold monthly meetings, have speakers, parties and a PICNIC. We hold one fundraiser every year, our Chinese Auction and provide support and supplies for the NICU, PNU and lactation consultants. We created the Wall of Fame that is proudly displayed outside the NICU so that family, friends and hospital employees can remember just how miraculous our babies are. We create special gifts for parents on special holidays especially, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Christmas/Hanukkah "family photo" sessions. We have worked in conjunction with the March of Dimes, Parent to Parent of PA, the Special Kids Network and the National Perinatal Association to increase awareness and prevention of pre-tern delivery as well as the improved care of premature babies. Through a grant from the March of Dimes, we ran a statewide conference for NICU Parent Support Groups to exchange ideas and create a support network. I am quite proud of how much our still quite young group has accomplished and it is with a heavy heart that I must pass on the position of Group Coordinator. In September, I will be returning to college full time to earn my teaching certificate in Elementary Education, continuing to work part time at the hospital and being a full time mommy to my 5 year old daughters (my preemies). I can not give the attention to the support group that I know is necessary to be effective. I will miss you all but know that I am leaving the group in the capable hands of all of you…other Mothers and Fathers of miraculous babies!
My name is Marie Lichtenwalner, and I’m going to try and help keep our group going for Michelle until she can return. Unfortunately, I am not half the woman she is, so we are going to need a lot of help from everyone to keep us flowing. I know everyone has busy, full lives, including myself, but everyone just does a little something, no one person has to be overwhelmed. (Which I have to admit, I’m already feeling!!!)
To let you know a little about me, I have three year old triplets, and I have just moved, so I can barely find the computer under all the boxes!! SO!!! I have included a list of things that still need someone to help with. Please look over the list and let me know where you can help. Thanks in advance and I can’t wait to work with all of you!!!
Announcing your new leaders !!
Marie Lichtenwalner, mother of triplet boys
Monthly Newsletter Editor:
Marie Lichtenwalner will be assisting and everyone will be writing their own reports
Tuesday Night Scheduler:
Wall of Fame:
Second volunteer needed
Holiday Gift Coordinator:
Holiday Parties & Picnic:
Joan Fabian (northern)
Ordering Ink & Paper for NICU:
Colleen Ornosky – co-chair
Cheryl Endy - co-chair
Ordering Ink & Paper for NICU:
Holiday Photo Cards:
Kerry Ann Williams
Important Info for Parents & Peds:
Spanish Brochures Available
Trained Support Parent who speaks Spanish:
Has Washer/Dryer for NICU:
Still need volunteers for . . .
I have included the major parts of each of these jobs, but we have more information about each available. Michelle has already done the ground work for these, we just need people to follow the outlines she has designed.
Write about upcoming events
Reserve rooms at the hospital**
* this is already done for the rest of this year
Yearly Recognition Volunteer Dinner:
Chinese Auction (May 15-17, 2003):
We are going to need A LOT of help here, because it is the most important event for NICU, because it funds everything that gets done.
We have sample one, so need to decide if we are going to buy from them, or create our own.
Thanks for all your help!! If you would like to volunteer for any of these jobs, please contact Marie Lichtenwalner at 610-641-9540 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone this month. Because of new people taking over, I don’t have a list of people to specifically thank, but know you are appreciated!!!
Anyone who has something to be printed in the newsletter, please send it to Marie Lichtenwalner or Colleen Ornosky as soon as you have it ready. Thanks!!