Huggies® Grant for NICU Cuddling Program | News | Loyola Medicine
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Loyola Medicine Awarded $10,000 Grant from Huggies® to Expand NICU Cuddling Program

Mother holding infant

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Huggies®  as part of the company's No Baby Unhugged initiative. 

The money will be used to expand Loyola's current Cradle Cuddler program with additional volunteers who provide comfort to the hospital's tiniest patients.

Cradle Cuddler Volunteers hold, calm, cuddle, read to or provide other comfort measures to premature infants, who on average stay 18 days in Loyola's neonatal intensive care unit.

"Human touch, including cuddling, is important in an infant's development," said Anne Cunningham, RN, nursing manager of Loyola's NICU. "Because a baby's stay in the NICU can last for weeks, family members often cannot be at the bedside for the entirety. Having someone to provide comfort and interaction helps not just the baby, but supports the family as well."

Loyola will train 25 people to become Cradle Cuddler Volunteers. Interested volunteers should apply online. They will be subject to an expanded background check and health screening.

"We are grateful to the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged initiative helping provide expanded support to our NICU babies," said Bob Nolan, senior director, corporate and foundation relations. "We believe in treating patients, both body and soul, and these volunteers will help us carry out that mission." 

Loyola Medicine’s board-certified neonatologists are nationally and internationally recognized as leaders in neonatal care. As a Level III Perinatal Center, Loyola offers the latest technology, therapies and techniques and serves as a national model for specialized protocols and practices in the care of premature infants. 

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.