Mead Johnson Nutrition and Hand to Hold Announce Second Annual NICU Heroes Award Winners
Outstanding NICU Professionals from Idaho and South Carolina Honored
for care of premature infants
GLENVIEW, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 24, 2014--
Neonatal nurse practitioner Stephanie Horecky Hall of Daniel Island,
S.C., and neonatologist Stewart Lawrence, M.D., of Boise, Idaho, were
named the 2014 NICU Heroes Award winners by Mead Johnson Nutrition and
Hand to Hold, a national nonprofit Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
parent support organization. Families from 30 U.S. states nominated
neonatal nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals who
helped make a difference for their preterm or medically fragile newborns.
“Neonatal healthcare providers know how the trauma of a baby’s NICU stay
can affect the entire family and the very real difference
family-centered care can make for parents and their baby,” said Kelli
Kelley, founder of Hand to Hold and mother of two preemies. The
compassionate care Kelley received, and has also witnessed medical
professionals give other parents, is the driving force behind creating
the annual NICU Heroes Award.
This year’s NICU Heroes Award honors two NICU health care professionals
for their compassion, courage and perseverance to improving outcomes for
medically fragile babies and their families. The winners were chosen by
an independent panel of NICU health care professionals and NICU parents
from around the country. All nominees will receive a copy of the
nominating family’s essay, which shares the heartwarming difference
their work made for their child or children and family.
Horecky Hall was nominated by Mary Ann Lilly from Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Mary Ann Lilly’s daughter Kristianne Elizabeth was born on June 21, 2004
at 26 weeks, weighing only 1 pound, 7 ounces. Kristi was immediately
admitted to the Medical University of South Carolina NICU where Lilly,
met bedside nurse Horecky Hall. Horecky Hall and Lilly formed an instant
bond. Horecky Hall was not only on Kristi’s medical team, she stepped
into the role of advocate and caregiver, taking care of baby Kristi, but
also her mother and father, as well as her 10-year old big sister Rachel.
“This time in my life so hard, and Stephanie made it better by taking
time to explain complicated medical terms, encouraging our family to
take care of ourselves, letting me stay by Kristi’s side, and
coordinating Kristi’s care with the neonatologist and others,” said
During her 20-day stay in the NICU Kristi developed fungal meningitis.
She passed away on July 20, 2004. Once again Stephanie came to the
hospital and stayed with the Lilly family, taking Rachel with her while
Kristi’s parents grieved their loss. “She made the most horrible night a
little bit better,” said Mary Ann Lilly.
Sophie Carney from Boise, Idaho, nominated Dr. Stewart Lawrence for the
compassionate, professional care he gave to her 25-week-old twins and
their family while the twins were in Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical
Center’s NICU for four months in 2013 and 2014. The twins were born
after receiving a life-saving procedure for a rare condition known as
“twin-to-twin transfusion,” or TTTS, in which the blood flow through
twins’ placental connections becomes unbalanced, threatening both babies
in utero. It affects less than 20 percent of identical twins.
“Dr. Lawrence deeply cared for the well-being of our babies, during and
after their stay in the NICU,” said Carney. “Dr. Lawrence still made
time to sit with us, clearly communicating all of our options and making
our family feel like we were an important part of his day.” Dr. Lawrence
is a physician with Mountain States Neonatology, an affiliate
of Pediatrix Medical Group.
Horecky Hall’s and Dr. Lawrence’s achievements were recognized at the
National Association of Neonatal Nursing (NANN) Annual Educational
Conference held September 10-13, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. Each honoree
will be honored at a NICU Heroes Award ceremony at his and her
respective hospitals, receiving a trophy, certificate, and a $2,500
donation in their name to the pediatric healthcare charity of their
choice. Horecky Hall’s donation will be given to the Children's Cancer
Research Fund. Dr. Lawrence’s gift will be donated to St. Jude
Children’s Research Hospital. Additionally, each hospital will receive a
one-year subscription to the Hand to Hold’s NICU Resource Library, which
is designed to provide education to parents during a NICU stay.
Mead Johnson Nutrition partnered with Hand to Hold to create the NICU
Heroes Awards to reward 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,
senior vice president and general manager, North America and Global
Marketing, Mead Johnson Nutrition. “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
“NICU heroes understand that in order for babies to thrive, they must
have smart, informed parents who are capable of meeting their child’s
needs after discharge,” explained Kelley. “We are grateful for the NICU
heroes who reach beyond their job descriptions to provide comfort,
understanding and words of encouragement to help parents navigate their
NICU journey. Our NICU Heroes strive to integrate parents into the daily
care of their baby to ensure they are ready to meet the needs of a
medically fragile child after discharge.”
About Mead Johnson NutritionMead Johnson, a global leader in
pediatric nutrition, develops, manufactures, markets and distributes
more than 70 products in over 50 markets 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.
Source: Mead Johnson Nutrition
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR, (512)784-3805