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Golisano Children's Hospital / Neonatology / NICU Family Support

NICU Family Support

NICU Family Support is a group run by volunteer parents/guardians whose babies have been cared for at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UR Medicine Golisano Children’s Hospital. These volunteers listen and offer support to parents/guardians who have a baby in the NICU through the following ways:

  • Dinners
    As long as visitation guidelines allow, these dinners are scheduled for the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.  A light dinner is served on the unit. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings are invited to attend (again, as long as current visitor guidelines allow). Sometimes there is the opportunity to do a craft. Craft supplies are paid for through the NICU Family Support funding option of the Stroll for Strong Kids event. These dinners are a great way to meet other families in the NICU. This is open to families in all of the Gosnell Family NICU which includes the 44 beds in the Golisano Children's Hospital Wegman's Nursery in the tower and 24 beds in the Strong Memorial Hospital Nursery.
  • Mentoring
    As long as visitation guidelines allow, volunteer parents/guardians with lived experience in our NICU who have gone through training visit weekly to support current families. These volunteers may knock on your door to see if you’d like to visit. Visits can happen in your baby’s room so you don’t have to leave your baby. The days/nights and times these volunteers visit the NICU may vary.
  • Buddy Program
    The COVID-19 pandemic meant volunteers were not allowed in the hospital for a long period of time and our NICU Family Support volunteers were missed. So, we worked to create a virtual-version of their mentoring support and in 2021 we launched a pilot in the NICU called the Buddy Program. Trained volunteer parent/guardians with NICU experience were matched by a social worker with the parent/guardian of a current NICU patient and they connected by phone, text, email or zoom for an 8-week period. Read more about the Buddy Program.
  • Dad Program
    We know some dads want support too.  We have dads who can come support at the bedside or be a buddy. If this interests you please see your social worker or child life specialist for more information.
  • Scrapbooking
    As long as visitation guidelines allow, this opportunity to connect with other current NICU parents/guardians is scheduled at various times.

NICU Family Support

Support is led by our NICU Family Advisory Tricia White, she is also a former NICU mom.

Contact Tricia for more information about the NICU Family Support program.

Read stories about our volunteers' journeys as NICU families.