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PVH to host Preemie Reunion Aug. 27

Poudre Valley Health System
For immediate release: August 23, 2011

Jill Clark 970.237.7104| 970.988.5073

Poudre Valley Hospital will welcome back on August 27 the children who began their lives as premature or critically ill infants in the hospital's state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit.

Safety is the theme of this sixth annual reunion from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 27. PVH has partnered with the Larimer County Sheriff's department, Poudre Fire Authority, Colorado State Patrol, PVHS Ambulance Service and SafeKids of Larimer County for this year's reunion. Emergency response vehicles will be on hand for the children to explore; a professional photographer will capture images of the children posed on a child-sized fire truck or police car; and lunch will be served.

Parents with premature or critically ill babies treated in PVH's neonatal intensive care unit are invited to the reunion. Parents can RSVP online or by calling 970.495.8293.

The event will take place at PVH, 1024 S. Lemay Ave. in Fort Collins, on the east side of the building and in the PVH's café courtyard on the hospital's lower level.

"Our annual preemie reunion is such a special event," said Pat Bohling-Smith, director of PVH's women and family care department. "The physicians and staff look forward to reconnecting with past patients. It's remarkable to see how these little ones have grown."

The reunion is a celebratory time for the hospital, too. 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.

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. Since receiving the Level IIIa designation in 2006, PVH has cared for approximately 2,200 infants.

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

Dr. Daniel Satterwhite, PVH neonatologist and neonatal intensive care unit medical director, said the affiliation with the University of Colorado and Children's Hospital Colorado has enabled a higher level of expertise and care in northern Colorado. PVH's relationship with the two Denver hospitals means the best treatment and latest technology in neonatal intensive care is readily available for northern Colorado families who need the services.

"It's in the baby's best interest to provide treatment locally rather than transporting them to another city, he said. We like to keep families together and close to home. This affiliation provides the best care without forcing families to travel long distances to see their babies."

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


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