NEWARK – Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund through its 2011 New Jersey grant initiative.
The grant will be used by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s (NICU) Family Transportation Project. The project funds bus tickets for NICU visitation by one family member up to four times per week. The NICU Patient Family Transportation Project is designed to improve children’s long-term developmental outcomes and strengthen families by providing bus tickets to those parents otherwise unable to visit their hospitalized babies.
“The Family Transportation Project was created when the NICU staff discovered that a mother who had undergone a Cesarean section was walking back and forth, to and from the hospital, over two miles a day to see her newborn son because she lacked the funds to take a bus,” says John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and CHoNJ. “Since then, we have felt compelled to respond to this need.”
An average of 38 percent of NICU families at CHoNJ has no means of transportation to the hospital, including the ability to afford public transportation. Without some type of subsidization, these babies will not be visited regularly by their parents. For these children, already burdened with the long-term effects of prematurity, the absence of parents during their formative weeks prevents important bonding during a critical time.
The one-time grants were given by the Fund to alleviate economic challenges and sustain organizations that favorably impact children across New Jersey. CHoNJ was one of 54 organizations selected from a pool of more than 500 proposals from charities requesting funding from across the state.
“We are grateful to Toys “R” Us for this generous donation which will promote bonding and development for our NICU patients, and greatly assist their families,” adds Dr. Brennan.
“Of the many proposals we received, CHoNJ demonstrated a distinctive commitment to supporting children in New Jersey,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “With additional support from the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund this year, we hope that the impact of its meaningful work will be even greater to further our collective efforts in our state to keep kids safe and help them in times of need.”
Grants will support a wide array of unique programs and services aligned with the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund mission of keeping children safe and helping them in times of need. Kids in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties will benefit from the impact of the grant initiative through community-based and statewide charities.
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