CINCINNATI, OH—Bluegrass for Babies, Inc., a local non-profit organization that strives to improve children’s health by raising funds for medical centers and by enhancing public awareness of children’s health through education initiatives and special events, recently made a $30,000 donation to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
“Cincinnati Children’s extends a heartfelt thank you to the Bluegrass for Babies Board for their wonderful donation,” said Jennie Parker, Senior Major Gifts Officer at Cincinnati Children’s. “This generous act will make a tangible difference to children who face very difficult circumstances. On behalf of those children, their families, and Cincinnati Children’s staff, we thank Bluegrass for Babies for all they have done to make this gift possible.”
Approximately $7,500 of the donation will enable the hospital to purchase a Vecta Distraction Station, a special machine that creates relaxing, distracting, and empowering multi-sensory environments for young patients. With bubble columns, aroma fans, projection, and fiber optic lights, the station helps engage all five senses of a patient who may be undergoing a medical procedure or illness causing great fear, anxiety, or pain. Vecta Distraction Stations have proven to be helpful to patients with autism, brain injury, and developmental disabilities, in pre- and post-surgery, and also with common medical procedures like blood drawing.
The remaining $22,500 will be used in Cincinnati Children’s High Risk Infant Follow-Up Program (HRP), which cares for about 1,000 young children each year who require specialized support after initial care in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cincinnati Children’s. These infants face a variety of severe and long-term health challenges, ranging from extreme prematurity to congenital birth defects requiring life-saving surgery. The HRP provides individual medical assessments, planning, and care, as well as specialized services that help parents learn how to manage medically intensive in-home care.
More than 80% of the HRP’s services and follow-up care are not reimbursed by private insurance or by Medicaid. With nearly half of the HRP’s patients coming from low-income households, an enormous burden is then left to families already overwhelmed by the financial stresses of their recent NICU experience. “Cincinnati Children’s is grateful for Bluegrass for Babies’ support towards this vital program. These funds will help ensure that these high-risk babies receive the follow-up care they desperately need and lessen the overall financial strains on the HRP families,” said Dr. Tanya Cahill, Director of the HRP Clinic.
Mt. Lookout residents Matt and Anne Schneider founded Bluegrass for Babies in 2009. They were inspired to give back to Cincinnati Children’s following the life-saving surgery their son Nicholas received when he was two days old. The annual fundraising event (most recently held Saturday, September 17, 2011 at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion) is a unique and fun charitable bluegrass concert, designed for the entire family. While its priority is to raise funds for Cincinnati Children’s, the organization has an equally important mission to educate kids and parents about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
In three years, Bluegrass for Babies has grown exponentially, and it has collectively raised $45,000 for Cincinnati Children’s. In November, Matt and Anne Schneider’s efforts were honored when they were nominated by the community for the 2011 Cincinnati Children’s Museum “Difference Makers” Award.
The 2012 Bluegrass for Babies will take place Saturday, September 22 from 4-9 p.m. at Sawyer Point.
The Schneider family’s story: “Stories of Hope & Giving”.