Redlands Police Officers Foundation, Auxiliary volunteer and spouse donate funds to help NICU babies and their parents

RCH Auxiliary Volunteer and spouse, along with Redlands Police Officers Foundation’s Donation Purchased Reclining Chairs for Redlands Community Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

REDLANDS POLICE OFFICERS FOUNDATION, AUXILIARY VOLUNTEER AND SPOUSE DONATE FUNDS TO HELP NICU BABIES AND THEIR PARENTS

Left to right: Vice President of Patient Care Services, Lauren Spilsbury RN, MSN; Foundation Board Member Nancy Norton; Auxiliary President and Redlands Citizens Patrol Volunteer Tom Niblack; Officer Martin Gonzalez; Officer Leslie Martinez; Officer Ryan Steihaus; Officer Patrick Leivas; Officer Cory Hunt; Community Member and Foundation Donor Charlie Brown, Redlands Community Hospital Volunteer and Foundation Donor Dianne Brown; Director of Maternal Child Services Edith Gonzales RN; and Nurse Manager of NICU Rachel Garcia RN. Seated is new mom Mireya Alvarez and baby Arya Alvarez.

REDLANDS, Calif. – A longtime Auxiliary board member and volunteer Diane Brown and husband Charlie, along with The Redlands Police Officers Foundation (RPOF) made a donation to the Redlands Community Hospital Foundation to help the hospital purchase eight reclining chairs for its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The new recliners will aid infants who are born prematurely or have medical problems requiring special needs.

“After working over 20 years in pediatrics, I realized the importance of providing care to newborns in the NICU,” said Diane Brown. “It’s my hope that our donation with make a difference in the lives of the babies and their families.”

The Carolina recliners were not only selected for their beautiful pattern and fabric, but primarily for ease in reclining to a relaxing position. Reclining while mother and child are skin-to-skin provides many benefits such as improved temperature, respiratory and blood glucose stability. The average length of stay for an infant in the NICU is about two weeks.

“Being skin-to-skin with mother protects infant from negative effects of separation and supports optimal brain development,” said Edith Gonzales, director of Maternal Child Services at Redlands Community Hospital. “The recliners allow mothers to sit in a position that is nurturing and ideal for breastfeeding premature infants.”

In recent years, the RPOF has been able to raise more than $30,000 in donations through their annual golf tournament and other fund raising efforts. They have donated to local organizations that support services to youth in the community such as American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), Redlands Baseball for Youth, March of Dimes, San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, Redlands Unified School District athletic programs, Micah House, and the Children’s Cancer Foundation of Southern California.

“The hospital is very grateful to the Redlands Police Officers Foundation for its continual support of our NICU,” said Jan Opdyke, Redlands Community Hospital Foundation president. “An item as simple as a recliner can bring comfort to what can be a stressful experience for parents and their infants.”

The Redlands Community Hospital’s NICU is a special nursery for babies who are born prematurely or have other medical problems, such as breathing difficulties, infections or conditions requiring special needs. Special equipment is used to observe and monitor babies closely as well as provide the correct balance of warmth, nourishment and oxygen if needed. The staff includes neonatologists, pediatricians, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers, and occupational therapists.

"The Redlands Police Officers Foundation is proud to go above and beyond to serve the community," said RPOF president Patrick Leivas. "It's our hope that the gift made to Redlands Community Hospital's tinniest patients and their parents will make a difference in their lives."

Patrick Leivas also added that RPOF is always looking for ways to give back to the community. The Redlands Police Officers Foundation invites the community to reach out to them if there is a need. Requests can be sent to: P.O. Box 282, Redlands, CA 92373.

To learn more about Redlands Community Hospital, visit: www.redlandshospital.org or call (909) 335-5500.

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Redlands Community Hospital is an independent, not for profit, stand-alone hospital.