Cullen Foundation Donates $100,000 to New Essentia NICU

The Cullen Children's Foundation Critical Care Wing will be part of Essentia's brand–new NICU

FARGO, N.D. — The Essentia Health is expanding their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for babies with the help of a $100,000 donation from the Cullen foundation.

This gift will change the future for families who have babies in the NICU.

The Matt Cullen family has made an imprint in the Fargo Moorhead area and now they are helping out the newest members of our community.

“We just want the NICU to be a place where parents feel completely at home and involved even when they are going through a hard time,” said Jamie Astrup, the NICU Nurse Manager at the Essentia Hospital in Fargo.

The Cullen Children’s Foundation Critical Care Wing will be part of the brand–new NICU being built at the Essentia Hospital on 32nd street.

“The Cullen gift is going to be focused on the most critical babies that come into our NICU,” said Susan Omdalen, the Executive Director of the Essentia Health Regional Foundation.

The current NICU is behind this door but once the new unit is built all of those services will be moved to the south side of the building.

“It’s close to the nursing staff, close to the physicians and it’s a really important part of the project,” Omdalen said.

The current ward style will be replaced by family style private rooms.

“Each room will have a place where families can sleep if they need to. There is a couch that pulls into a bed, there is a much nicer recliner, all around it’s a better space for families,” Omdalen said.

But that isn’t the only upgrade.

“Number one getting the privacy, number two looking at a communication device for our users that alerts us to everything that is going on with the babies in their rooms without actually having to be present all the time,” Astrup said.

The foundation is also supporting another new piece of technology, called the NICView.

“It’s a camera that’s put on the baby bed and so that when the family is away, that they have 24/7 access with their phone,” Omdalen said.

“It’s a really great way for siblings to see their new sibling as well,” Astrup said.

This project wouldn’t have been able to happen without the community.

“We’re really excited that we have been getting so much support from our community to help us do this and the gift coming from Cullen really shows that the community wants to partner with us on these projects that make a difference for our families,” Omdalen said.

Nurses have provided their input from the beginning so planners are excited to show them their ideas that have come to life.

“All those things that makes it a whole for the family and the health care team all together,” Astrup said.

The Foundation hosting their second annual Essentially Yours event on April 5th to raise money for the expansion.

To sign up, visit the events page.

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