ICU baby's Transportation Assistance Program
ICU baby’s Transportation Assistance Program offers a financial stipend to offset transportation costs for qualifying, low income NICU parents whose visits to the NICU are limited because of financial hardship. The goal of the Transportation Assistance Program is to alleviate financial burdens that prevent parents from visiting their baby. NICU parents complete an application to apply for the benefit and, if approved, ICU baby distributes bus passes, gas cards, parking vouchers and/or private transportation, as applicable. ICU baby works hand-in-hand with the hospital to ensure that benefits are being used by families to visit their babies more often. Parents re-submit their request for assistance on a monthly basis. ICU baby unveiled its Transportation Assistance Program in the Summer of 2017 at Holtz Children's Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center and in the Fall of 2018 at Baptist Health System's South Miami Hospital.
ICU baby's NICU Pack Project
ICU baby’s signature NICU Packs are given to families of babies whose NICU stay is estimated to be three weeks or more. NICU Packs are tote bags filled with essential NICU items to help parents participate in the care of their premature or critically ill baby alongside their baby’s medical team. The tote bags include a journal for parents to keep track of their baby’s daily progress, laundry bags for hygienic transport of the baby’s clean and dirty clothes, a Baby K’tan carrier to facilitate skin-to-skin between parent and baby, a breast milk cooler for milk transport to the hospital, a swaddle blanket to help calm the baby and promote healthy sleeping practices, among other items. NICU Packs are delivered bedside every Wednesday by ICU baby in-hospital volunteers to NICU families at Holtz Children's Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center and Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital.
ICU baby's Supper of Support
ICU baby’s Supper of Support is an in-hospital, catered dinner served to all family members of a baby admitted to the NICU. The Supper gives family members the opportunity to share their NICU experiences in an informal setting that organically becomes a support group between the families. Parents are able to take a “mental break” from being inside the NICU without having to be far from their baby for too long. Peer-to-peer connections are made between NICU families that directly relate to what they are going through. The Suppers of Support are free to all family members and are often sponsored by a local restaurant or a family in the community. ICU baby’s Suppers of Support are held one Wednesday a month in the NICUs of Holtz Children's Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center and Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital.
ICU baby's Parent-to-Parent Support
ICU baby’s Parent-to-Parent Support is provided by a team of pre-screened, hospital approved, ICU baby volunteers who have had a NICU experience of their own and can serve as a “lifeline” to current NICU families. ICU baby’s volunteers walk through the NICU with a snack basket to provide a bite to eat and individualized support to parents at their baby’s bedside. Volunteers listen, offer comfort and direct the NICU parent to resources in the hospital or community that might benefit them during their NICU stay. ICU baby’s in-hospital volunteers tour the NICUs every Wednesday and some Saturdays at the NICUs of Holtz Children's Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center and Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital.
ICU baby's Bereavement Support
Not all babies in the NICU survive. It is the heartbreaking reality that ICU baby co-Founder, Nichole Aldrich, knows personally and ICU baby volunteers witness every month in the NICUs that the organization benefits. ICU baby’s Bereavement Program offers NICU families a gift in memory of their baby and much needed support during this extremely difficult and painful journey. ICU baby connects the baby’s parents with a volunteer that has suffered a similar loss and understands the parents’ emotions. Sharing memories, hopes, and disappointments are an important part of the grieving and healing process. ICU baby's Bereavement Program benefits the NICUs of Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center and Baptist Health System’s South Miami Hospital.