Lots of little people gather for day of fun
More than 500 babies, toddlers, children and their parents gathered at Carmichael Park on Sept. 13th for a reunion hosted by Dignity Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This annual event brings back many children who were once so dependent upon the professional treatment that may have well saved their little lives.
“Dignity Health holds a NICU reunion every year for babies that have been treated in their unit,” says Amy Bianco, Rancho Cordova Dean of Student Services. “It’s a huge event with lots of babies, toddlers, children and their families – all of whom have been touched by the staff that work in the NICU.”
This is the first year that SJVC’s Respiratory Therapy (RT) students took part in this reunion and celebration of young lives. Instructor Jodilee Prophet and 14 students spent the day volunteering for set-up, checking families in, providing craft support, answering attendee questions, serving food/drinks, performing face-painting and cleaning up.
Participating RT students were: Heather Whatmore (Team Leader), Gennovieve Ciobanasieo, Joy Serban, Jill Luong, Tiffany Yerxa, Zac Zoeller, Amanda Oliver, Breanne Knight, Robert Wallace, Sarah Rice, Matthew Harbawi, Joseph Castro, Sam Cartacai, Aaron Kulukjian and Vladimir Lobkov.
“It was an extremely rewarding experience to interact with the families and children who have graduated from Dignity’s NICU,” says Heather Whatmore, RT student. “Seeing the families and children outside of the hospital setting and hearing their stories is something that won’t soon be forgotten.”
Volunteer work in the community has always been an important part of SJVC’s educational process – especially for students in medical programs. It gives students a chance to interact with the public and professionals in their fields, while providing a much-needed service to the communities they will serve.
The assistance provided by the Respiratory Therapy students was greatly appreciated by the hospital.
“The help the RCP students provided the Dignity Health NICU Reunion on Saturday was tremendous,” says Michelle Donahoo, RCP, RRT-NPS, Regional NRP Instructor/Coordinator. “I cannot even begin to tell you how professional and caring they were.”
Students enjoyed working shoulder-to-shoulder with professionals in their field of study. “It was a great opportunity to meet the doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists that were a part of the healing of so many wonderful children,” says Heather.