Family Sustains Support for Premature Infants

Janet Winslow, LCSW, Supervisor of the Perinatal Family Support Center and Dr. Harold Krinsky

More than 30 years ago, Harold Krinsky, DDS, and his wife lost their son Joshua, who was born prematurely. He spent seven months in NorthShore’s Henrietta Johnson Louis Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU) at NorthShore Evanston Hospital, before succumbing to serious health issues. During that emotionally difficult time, NorthShore’s Perinatal Family Support Center team helped sustain the Krinsky family with guidance and support.

The Perinatal Family Support Center provides a wide array of services to women and their families who experience challenges related to pregnancy, birth, prematurity or perinatal loss. Specialists in perinatal medicine recognize the profound impact of high-risk pregnancies and births on the entire family.

In appreciation for the care Joshua received, the family established the Joshua Stuart Krinksy Memorial Fund to provide funding for the Perinatal Family Support Center.  Dr. Krinsky and his dental staff have hosted an annual charity golf outing, silent auction and dinner to raise monies for the fund. Since 2000, the event has raised more than $200,000.

Using a relationship-focused model of care, social workers work hand in hand with nurses and physicians to provide perinatal care patients and their families needed assessment, crisis intervention, emotional support and links to community resources while promoting family stability. The program is culturally sensitive and serves approximately 1,500 families annually. All services of the Perinatal Family Support Center, located at both Evanston and Highland Park Hospitals, are provided free of charge.

Janet Winslow, LCSW, Supervisor of the Perinatal Family Support Center, shared that with donations from the Krinsky family fund, the team was able to develop and staff a weekly support group—an idea that emanated from parents who had babies in the ISCU. Despite being surrounded by others, most parents report a feeling of “aloneness” in their ISCU journey. The group provided a welcoming atmosphere where parents could meet one another, share their stories and derive support.

The Center is also using a portion of the funds for professional development. Each Perinatal Family Support Center staff member will complete two days of training with Postpartum Support International to enhance their skills in recognizing and addressing perinatal mood disorders. This is especially relevant as women who have a baby in an ISCU environment are known to be at a higher risk of developing postpartum mood issues.

If you would like more information about the annual Krinsky golf outing, or to make a donation directly for the Perinatal Family Support Center, please visit foundation.northshore.org/krinsky.

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