Imagine being separated from your baby minutes after delivery or having to choose whether to stay with your postpartum wife or travel to be with your newborn baby. Thanks to the generosity of OnCue, and their gift to name a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Stillwater Medical, fewer families with premature babies will have to face these unimaginable decisions.
Stillwater Medical Foundation is raising funds to bring a Level II NICU to the Stillwater hospital. This ten-bed unit will serve all central and northcentral Oklahoma. Denise Webber, Stillwater Medical CEO, explains “the addition of a newborn intensive care unit at Stillwater Medical means that families can stay together and be closer to home. And we know that this increases positive outcomes for babies and mothers. Bonding, breast feeding rates, and healing all improve when families can be together.”
Often, premature babies must be sent out of state because there are simply not enough NICU beds to keep Oklahoma families together. The creation of a Level II NICU in Stillwater, allowing families to stay closer to home.
The 98-bed Level IV NICU at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health is frequently operating at maximum capacity, explained Trent E. Tipple, M.D., F.A.A.P., chief of neonatology at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital and chief of the section of neonatal-perinatal medicine at OU College of Medicine. Level IV NICUs offer the most comprehensive care to the most seriously ill newborns needing complex medical and surgical care. Tipple said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital receives many patients from Stillwater Medical and surrounding hospitals who need Level II care, underscoring how the creation of a Level II NICU at Stillwater Medical makes perfect sense.
Understanding the need and the funds required to make a Stillwater NICU a reality, OnCue knew they wanted to help. OnCue President, Laura Aufleger said, “we knew our gift would make the NICU a reality and our commitment would have an impact on children and families in Oklahoma for decades to come.” OnCue’s $1,000,000 gift is the largest single gift ever received at Stillwater Medical. “Our stores have been serving the Stillwater area for 55 years, and I am beyond grateful that we can make this investment to save lives in our community,” said Aufleger.
“The Foundation is grateful for OnCue’s vision and generous investment in Stillwater and all of north central Oklahoma and we are excited to celebrate the naming of the OnCue Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” said Michal Shaw, Stillwater Medical Foundation Executive Director, during Monday’s press conference.
Opening of the OnCue Neonatal ICU is scheduled for the spring of 2024