Reunion allows children and their families to reconnect with caregivers

A former Forsyth Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit patient's mother shares a laugh with a healthcare team member at the reunion celebration on Sept. 29.

Reunion allows children and their families to reconnect with caregivers
October 11
11:00 2018

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) team at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center welcomed back more than 300 former patients and their family members for a reunion on Saturday, Sept. 29.

The Forsyth Medical Center NICU cares for nearly 1,000 children each year, and this annual event provides an opportunity for doctors and nurses to reconnect with those former patients in a fun, relaxed environment.

“This event began more than 25 years ago as a celebration of our former NICU patients and how far they have come,” says Ann Smith, director of women’s and children’s health at Forsyth Medical Center. “It’s extremely rewarding to know that all we do and all of the strategies we implement really come to fruition and lead to the best outcomes for our babies and their families.”

As part of the celebration, several team members dressed up as superheroes, including Thor, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Black Panther and Batman. The event also featured crafts and games for the children.

“Many of our nurses and team members keep in touch with the families that come in and out of the NICU, and it’s great for the parents to be able to reconnect with them here today,” says Bridget Boyles, assistant nurse manager of the Forsyth Medical Center NICU. “We’ve had NICU graduates as old as 21 come to these reunions. Seeing this is really what makes our jobs worthwhile.”

Jill Aguilar knows how important the annual reunion is. As a parent of two children who both spent time in the NICU, Aguilar enjoys catching up with the doctors and nurses who cared for her children and meeting other NICU families.

“Everyone has had a variety of experiences,” says Aguilar, who also serves as chair of the Forsyth Medical Center NICU parent advisory board. “It’s really special to see all of these babies come together today and see how well they’re doing months, and sometimes years, down the road.”

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