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PVH to host 7th annual preemie reunion August 25

For immediate release: Aug. 22, 2012

Jill Clark, 970.217.7549,

Note to reporters: Approximately 350 preemies and their families are expected to attend the reunion, so there will be good opportunities for interviews and photographs.

On August 25, Poudre Valley Hospital will welcome back children who began their lives as premature or critically ill infants in the hospital's high-level neonatal intensive care unit.

The 7th annual reunion from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. has a pirate theme. Children will play in a pirate bounce house; taste healthy pirate snacks prepared by LiveWell, the hospital's employee wellness program; have their faces painted; a professional photographer will capture images of the children posed in front of a child-sized pirate ship; and lunch will be served. The event will take place at PVH on the east side of the building and in the PVH's café courtyard on the hospital's lower level.

"Our physicians and nurses look forward to seeing the children and their families each year," said Pat Bohling-Smith, director of PVH's women and family care department. "The children grow and change so much. It's really rewarding to see a child born weighing only a pound grow into a toddler that is running, playing and smiling. Families really enjoy reconnecting with their nurses and doctors."

The staff on the neonatal intensive care unit routinely cares for newborns as young as 28 weeks gestation rather than having them transported to Denver hospitals that offer the same specialized critical care. The PVH Level IIIa unit has cared for approximately 2500 infants since receiving the high-level designation in 2006.
PVH is the only hospital between Denver and Billings, Mont., that offers Level IIIa care.

The designation is one of the highest that can be achieved. Levels I and II nurseries care for well or moderately premature infants, while Level IIIb and lllc nurseries focus on critically ill infants requiring complex cardiac and surgical care.

The three neonatologist physicians and six neonatal nurse practitioners who work in PVH's neonatal intensive care unit are part of the team that provides services to two Denver hospitals—Children's Hospital and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center—that are nationally recognized for the treatment of infants.

Other PVH staff members who provide Level IIIa care--nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists—are extensively trained in neonate critical care. The hospital has state-of-the-art ventilators, cardiac monitors, isolettes, and other equipment specially designed to treat tiny, sick infants.

 --University of Colorado Health--
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