GLENVIEW, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE: MJN), a leading provider of pediatric nutrition products worldwide, and Hand to Hold, a national nonprofit neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) parent support organization, are proud to announce the finalists for the third annual NICU Heroes Awards.
Created in 2012, the NICU Heroes Award recognizes those professionals, including physicians, neonatal nurses, and other healthcare professionals who make a profound difference in the lives of families with preterm or medically fragile newborns.
Families from 21 U.S. states nominated healthcare professionals who helped make a difference for their preterm or medically fragile newborns. The six 2015 finalists, whose careers represent over 140 years of experience in neonatal health, include:
- Shay Miller, RN, BSN, neonatal nurse at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama;
- Heather Laubmeier RN, BSN, neonatal nurse at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Arizona;
- Joann Thorpe, RNC, neonatal nurse at Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California;
- Meredithe Mullen, BSN RNC, neonatal nurse at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa;
- Cindy Enke, BS, RNC, neonatal nurse at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas in Austin, Texas; and
- Aryan Azimi-Zonooz, MD, a neonatologist from St. Charles Bend Hospital in Bend, Oregon.
Finalists were chosen by an independent panel of NICU healthcare professionals and NICU parents from around the country. Each finalist will receive a certificate of appreciation and a copy of the nominating essay, which shares personal stories about how their work made a difference for the children and families in their care.
A second independent panel of judges will select two winners to be announced on August 3, 2015. Winners will receive:
- A trophy and certificate, presented at the winner’s hospital;
- A $2,500 donation in their name to the pediatric healthcare charity of their choice*;
- And a one-year subscription to the Hand to Hold Resource Library, designed to provide education to parents during a NICU stay, for the winner’s hospital.
Families of preemies and babies born with special health needs are often overwhelmed by their need for information and support, and NICU professionals make a significant difference in the lives of these families. Community-based programs, such as Hand to Hold, provide support to families before, during and after NICU stays.
“Our 2015 NICU Heroes finalists demonstrate a lifelong professional and personal commitment to the well-being of babies and families in their care. They also understand that having a baby in the NICU affects the whole family,” says Kelli Kelley, founder of Hand to Hold and mother of two children born premature. “When neonatal professionals balance the healthcare needs for babies with the emotional care of their families, they make a positive impact on babies and families that lasts a lifetime.”
Mead Johnson Nutrition partnered with Hand to Hold to create the NICU Heroes Awards to recognize the experience, professionalism, support and deep compassion these NICU health care professionals give their patients and their families.
“As a mother to preterm twin toddlers, I was moved by the many inspiring stories of families and healthcare professionals coming together to provide extraordinary care to fragile infants who faced challenging situations during their early days of life,” said Graciela Monteagudo, Mead Johnson’s Senior Vice President and President, Americas and Global Marketing. “As a world-leading infant nutrition company, Mead Johnson is honored to recognize the dedication of healthcare professionals who perform heroics in NICUs across the country every day.”
In 2014, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Horecky Hall of Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and Neonatologist Stewart Lawrence, MD, of Mountain States Neonatology, an affiliate of Pediatrix Medical Group and who practices at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, were honored as 2014 NICU Heroes.
* Some limitations may apply.
About Mead Johnson Nutrition
Mead Johnson, a global leader in pediatric nutrition, develops, manufactures, markets and distributes more than 70 products in over 50 countries worldwide. The company's mission is to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life. The Mead Johnson name has been associated with science-based pediatric nutrition products for over 100 years. The company's "Enfa" family of brands, including Enfamil® infant formula, is the world's leading brand franchise in pediatric nutrition. For more information, go to www.meadjohnson.com.
About Hand to Hold
Hand to Hold is a community-based, national support program for parents of preemies, babies born with a special health care need and those who have experienced loss due to these or other complications. The nonprofit organization’s vision is to enable a network of families to offer support, comfort and understanding to one another, and to provide them with knowledge, information and resources to ensure the best outcome for their children and family. For more information, go to www.handtohold.org.