JACKSON, Miss. – The goal of a new partnership between Children’s of Mississippi and Sta-Home, a home health agency based in Jackson, is getting NICU babies home sooner.
According to Fran Malenzi, director of newborn services for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, some babies whose health and strength are growing could go home from the neonatal intensive care unit sooner if their parents had the support of a home health nurse stopping in to check on progress. Without this transitional support, these babies would stay in the NICU.
The program, which is available in Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Simpson and Holmes counties, was designed to bridge the gaps in care between the NICU and home. Home health nurses are able to monitor babies’ feeding and weight gain, respiratory status and oxygen requirement as well as basic development progress.
“We’ve built a collaboration with Sta-Home,” said Dr. Mobolaji Famuyide, associate professor of neonatology and NICU medical director, “so we can care for babies in our NICU and subsequently transition them into the community in a safe and time-sensitive manner when they are medically ready. This partnership provides significant benefits for both the community and UMMC.”
“When medically safe, the home environment is the best place to foster the development of a newborn and also provide optimal mother-baby bonding. The benefits of these are invaluable. And, when one baby goes home earlier, it frees NICU space for another seriously ill baby,” adds Famuyide.