CONGRESSWOMAN NYDIA M. VELÁZQUEZ OFFICIALLY OPENS LUTHERAN MEDICAL CENTER’S RENOVATED NICU
Friday, February 22, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONGRESSWOMAN NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ OFFICIALLY OPENS LUTHERAN MEDICAL CENTERS RENOVATED NICU
February 21, 2008, Brooklyn, New York
Lutheran Medical Center officially opens its newly renovated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) this month. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez who secured $550,000 for the expansion and upgrade of the NICU attended a recent ribbon cutting as well as leaders from Lutheran's volunteer auxiliary who donated $100,000.
"There is nothing more important than the health and future of our children, and all infants deserve access to the highest quality care, regardless of their family's income," said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. "These improvements to Lutheran Medical Center's neonatal unit will help ensure that premature and ailing newborns are given the medical attention they require for a healthy start in life." Congresswoman Velázquez secured the funding from a recent HUD economic development special projects grant.
Rajen Persuad, who was born premature, shared his personal story at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Rajen spent two months in Lutheran's NICU where he was provided with around the clock intensive care. Fifteen years later Rajen returned to Lutheran as a volunteer. He spent this past summer volunteering in Lutheran Medical Center's NICU, working alongside two of the nurses who nursed him back to health as an infant. Winnie Dejesus, R.N., and Bibi Kumar, R.N., have both been at the hospital for 22 years.
"I've been inspired to enter the medical field by my mother (a labor and delivery technician at Lutheran Medical Center) and the nurses who cared for me and other premature babies in the NICU," said Rajen Persuad, Lutheran HealthCare Volunteer and former NICU patient. "I hope to become a doctor."
Lutheran Medical Center's NICU underwent extensive renovations and capital improvements, redefining the space and adding additional state-of-the-art equipment to better serve the infants requiring intensive care, and their families. In addition to the money earmarked by Congresswoman Velázquez, Lutheran HealthCare's Auxiliary gave $100,000 toward the NICU expansion.
As the rate of deliveries at Lutheran Medical center is growing steadily, the number of neonates requiring intensive care services grows proportionately. This growth in the neonatal population with complex medical needs requires the addition of equipment and increased space. The renovation and upgrade project will double the size of the neonatal intensive care unit and includes a modified nursery, a new anteroom, and waiting area spaces. Additional renovations will include reconstructing the nursery NICU nurse stations.
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