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    NMCP Hosts 21st Annual NICU Reunion

    NMCP Hosts 21st Annual NICU Reunion

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Kris Lindstrom | PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Oct. 12, 2019) – The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff and...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kris Lindstrom 

    Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

    Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s (NMCP) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) welcomed back their little NICU superheroes for the 21st Annual NICU Reunion on Oct. 12.

    The theme of this year’s event was “Superheroes of the NICU.” Between NMCP staff and prior patients, 73 families were in attendance. Capt. Dixie Aune, director of Nursing Services, the directorate where the NICU operates, is very fond of the staff who works there and shared a story of why she thinks that the NICU is so important and special.

    “My daughter, who was born at 26 weeks, born 2 pounds, 7 ounces, I tell her every day that it’s because of the NICU nurses who treated her like a princess from day one is why she still feels like a princess at age 14,” Aune said. “This staff is incredible. Regardless if we have a hurricane or a snow storm, this staff in the NICU are there every single minute of the day taking care of these babies.”

    The staff provided the NICU graduates a personalized superhero cape, signifying that they are “NICU’s Superheroes.” There was a balloon station, face painting, a bounce house, food, games, music and prizes for the families. Leslie Gibson, a NICU nurse and the president of the Neonatal Association Portsmouth, says it’s really special for the staff to see these graduates every year to show how much they have grown.

    “I know that nurses really enjoy coming to the reunion because they get to see the babies that they took care of, to see their progress and to see how they are thriving at home,” Gibson said. “These NICU grads are our superheroes. They fought every day when they were in the NICU and that’s why we went with this theme this year.”

    The annual reunion provides staff, patients, and their families a venue to maintain contact with one another, and is very therapeutic for both staff and patients. The families get to reunite and many have become each other’s support systems during the growth and development of their NICU graduates.

    For Monique Tynes, a NICU nurse and a member of the Neonatal Association Portsmouth, seeing the progress of all the graduates each year reconfirms why nurses like her all love what they do and look forward to next year.

    “This is a good thing to have every year because we get to see the babies,” Tynes said. “Once they leave, we don’t get to see them often unless their parents swing by after a doctor’s appointment. Some of these kids are older, like 12 or 13, and they come back year after year to show us how well they are doing.”

    As the U. S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally acclaimed, state of the art medical center, including its ten branch and TRICARE Prime clinics, serves the Hampton Roads area and additionally offers premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen for future roles in healing and wellness.



    Date Taken: 10.12.2019
    Date Posted: 10.17.2019 15:57
    Story ID: 348086
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 

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