Preemie Matters - June 2012

In this issue of Preemie Matters: NPIHC Summit: Connections 2012  •  NPIHC Updates: What's New with the National Premature Infant Health Coalition  •  NPIHC Webinar: Vision Development & the Link to Overall Development in the Premature Infant  •  New Report: MedImmune Advocacy's Premature Infant Health Summits 2011  •  Partner Profile: Eli's Hope  •  New Research: Study Finds Most 'Extreme Preemies' Grow Into Happy, Healthy Teens.

Connections 2012

We had a great turnout for an inspiring two days of education and networking in Washington, DC during NPIHC's annual summit, Connections 2012. Among the standout moments were keynotes from Dr. Nils Bergman and blogger Heather Spohr, along with talks and roundtables from preemie parents, pediatrician and author Dr. Laura Jana, Dr. Mitchell Goldstein, Ellen Levy and more. The summit also brought together representatives from eight regional prematurity networks across the nation for a special session, and included a meeting of the NPIHC Steering Committee. Revisit summit highlights by checking out participants' live-messaging on Twitter and photos on our Facebook page.

What's New with the National Premature Infant Health Coalition

Among the outcomes of the Steering Committee's work during NPIHC's annual summit in Washington, DC: Refined vision and mission statements that guide the way forward for this vibrant Coalition of prematurity advocates. The National Premature Infant Health Coalition is a collaborative of professional, clinical, community health and family support organizations focused on improving the lives of premature infants and their families. Our vision is for premature infants and their families to have the services and support they need for quality care and optimal health and wellness throughout the lifespan. NPIHC's mission is to promote the lifelong clinical, health, education and supportive services needed by premature infants and their families. In other news, we continue to grow our social networking presence with NPIHC's new Facebook page and through the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition's (HMHB) Twitter feed. Please join us in these social spaces for the latest news on prematurity, as well as mutual support and information-sharing among partners. Summit participants had the opportunity to preview NPIHC's new website, which will be live later this summer!

NPIHC Webinar: August 9 Vision Development & the Link to Overall Development in the Premature Infant

Our next webinar, "Vision Development and the Link to Overall Development in the Premature Infant," takes place Thursday, August 9, 2012 from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern. Our speaker, Glen T. Steele, O.D. FCOVD, will provide a focused discussion of the most prevalent and significant issues involved in eye and vision care and development during infancy. Professor at the Southern College of Optometry in the Pediatric Service and chair of the American Optometric Association InfantSEE Committee, Dr. Steele will focus on when problems are discovered and early intervention options for children. He will also present information on incidence of vision problems in premature infants, how vision links to overall development, current approaches to care and opportunities for parents and providers to positively impact the lives of these children. Register today!

New Report: MedImmune Advocacy's Premature Infant Health Summits 2011

In 2009, MedImmune Advocacy conducted six Premature Infant Health Summits across the country, presenting information and driving dialogue on the "cornerstone issues" facing premature infants and families. In 2011, they reconvened premature infant health advocates to host another series of summits, highlighting some of the programs that ensued and progress made. Participants included some 459 healthcare providers; advocacy, professional and parent organizations; public health officials; health insurers; policymakers and others. A new report from the 2011 Premature Infant Health Summits, with key takeaways and feedback from participants, is now available as a downloadable PDF on the Preemie Voices website.

Partner Profile: Eli's Hope

Eli's Hope, a faith-based nonprofit organization founded in 2011, serves Chicago-area NICU families to meet both practical and spiritual needs. They provide NICU support gift bags at partnering hospitals; bereavement services; "Home from the NICU" transitioning; and family activities including Sibling Day, Preemie Moms/Dads Night Out, and seminars like NICU Survival Guide and Scrapbooking Your NICU Sweetie. Read about their participation in NPIHC's 2012 summit on the Eli's Hope blog!

Study Finds Most 'Extreme Preemies' Grow Into Happy, Healthy Teens

"The tiniest, most underweight babies emerge as teens who feel good about themselves, rating their health about the same as children born at normal weights." These are among the insights from a new study to be published in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics. The study from a team at Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland tracked children who weighed less than 2.2 pounds at birth. They found that 69 percent of these teens reported their health as "good to excellent" as adolescents - roughly the same rate reported by both a control group of teens who weighed at least 7 pounds as newborns, and the general population of U.S. adolescents.

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Information is reported as provided and does not necessarily represent the view of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. A complete copy of HMHB's disclaimer is available on our website.