"We're thrilled that our No Baby Unhugged grants will continue to help hospitals positively impact their tiniest patients through hugs and physical touch," says Giusy Buonfantino, president of Kimberly-Clark Baby and Child Care North America. "Huggies believes deeply in the power of hugs and understands how hugging and cuddling infants can help with development and growth—especially for those in the NICU."
The four hospitals receiving grants in January include:
- Southern Regional Medical Center - Riverdale, GA: The grant will help launch its first hugging program that will train volunteers to provide consistent, ongoing, uninterrupted therapy while parents are absent to improve the recovery process. Funds will also help purchase glider rockers, blankets and other accessories to provide a comforting environment.
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center - Berkeley, CA: The grant will enhance its existing hugging program, with an emphasis on caring for babies born to mothers addicted to opioids and other substances. Funds will help replace worn out rocking chairs and enhance the level of training offered to prospective volunteers.
- Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women - Memphis, TN: Funds from the No Baby Unhugged grant will help provide more hugs to the 70% of babies in the NICU that receive very few visitors.
- Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford - Palo Alto, CA: Grant funds will be used on supplies, ongoing education and enhancing communication with volunteer huggers while they are in the hospital.
"Thanks to the No Baby Unhugged grant, we are excited to launch our first-ever hugging program that will help provide the benefits of human touch to babies in the NICU when parents cannot be there," says Charlotte Dupré, president and CEO of Southern Regional Medical Center. "This program not only extends our services to help our tiniest patients thrive, it aligns our hospital to reach our goal of becoming an accredited Baby Friendly 5-Star Hospital."
Huggies will continue to award No Baby Unhugged grants in 2018.