Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) was selected as a recipient of the 2019 Brave Beginnings program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.

In 2017, PMC’s Board of Directors Vice President and CEO, Donovan Blackburn saw the need for grant development. PMC is now seeing the results of those efforts to better serve those in the region.

“We should see several more announcements this year,” said PMC Director of Grant Development, Lisa Estep. “We want to see much more in philanthropy so that our region’s children have access to quality care close to home.”

She says it’s great to see foundations like Brave Beginnings based in California take interest in helping patients in our region.

Since 2006, Brave Beginnings has contributed millions of dollars to facilities across the United States. The Foundation works with hospitals nationwide to ensure ventilators and vital neonatal equipment are available to newborns in critical care.

Brave Beginnings’ grants provide hospitals with the necessary equipment for preemies.

“PMC was awarded nearly 20 thousand dollars to purchase a Giraffe Omni Bed. The state-of-the-art technology helps PMC provide newborns exceptional thermal and developmental care,” said PMC Senior Vice President, Assistant CEO and Medical Director, Aaron Crum, MD.

He said it is imperative to stay on the cutting edge of technology to provide the people in the area the best care possible.

“The growing number of newborns who require the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the region highlights an urgent need for us to provide this technology for our patients,” said Dr. Crum. “We will be able to offer patients quality care and advanced technology close to home.”

This new equipment helps staff avoid facing the challenging problem of sharing crucial equipment amongst Preemies, necessitating moving a baby from one piece of equipment to another.

Research shows that 27 percent of infants who are moved from one point of care to another experience complications such as hypothermia. Adequate neonatal equipment and beds are necessary for newborns.

“Premature infants have a decreased control of their temperature regulation due to an immature nervous system,” said PMC Neonatologist, Todd Hambleton, MD. “Temperature stability is a huge issue in a newborn’s life.”

He says the Giraffe Incubator is one of the most advanced, developmentally supportive microenvironments designed to promote the growth and stability of fragile newborns.

To date, PMC is one of 175 hospitals to receive this prestigious grant.

PMC recently filed a Certificate of Need to provide care as an advanced level two neonatal unit designation, allowing PMC to take care of babies born as early as 28 weeks.

PMC plans to double the size of the NICU, for more children who require specialty care close to home.