July 11, 2008 | U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder of Arkansas and his wife, Rev. Betsy Singleton, toured the neonatal intensive care unit recently on behalf of the March of Dimes organization.
R. Whit Hall, M.D., a neonatologist and professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), showed the congressman and his wife around the unit, explaining the equipment and answering questions. Snyder and Singleton, who are expecting triplets, have been named 2008 Citizens of the Year by the March of Dimes Arkansas Chapter, a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports infant health.
“This is a wonderful place with wonderful people,” Snyder said following the July 3 tour. “They will benefit from a new hospital.”
A 540,000-square-foot hospital expansion is slated to open in January 2009. The expansion will include a new, larger neonatal intensive care unit that will have 64 beds in private rooms.
“When you see a neonatal intensive care unit for the first time, it’s so overwhelming because the babies are so tiny,” said Singleton, who noted that she visited the unit previously while serving as a chaplain. “But now I have confidence knowing these babies are being so well taken care of and it’s a gift that they have a place where they can come for care.”
Hall praised the March of Dimes for its role in supporting medical research that over the years achieved a cure for polio and looked for ways to prevent birth defects.
Most recently at UAMS, the organization funded a part-time family support specialist position for the neonatal intensive care unit. The only one of its kind in Arkansas, the family support specialist serves as a source of information, education and support for families of patients in the unit.
Links on This Page:
UAMS Neonatology: http://www.uams.edu/pediatrics/faculty/Neonatology/neonatology.asp
March of Dimes: http://www.marchofdimes.com/home.asp