The Associate Board of NorthShore University HealthSystem’s 17th Annual Benefit

Thanks to our generous philanthropic community, The Associate Board of NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) raised more than $85,000 at their 17th Annual Benefit on June 25. Proceeds from the Benefit will support advancements at the Henrietta Johnson Louis Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU) and the Department of Pediatrics at NorthShore Evanston Hospital.

To view photos of the Benefit event, click here.

Since 2003, The Associate Board has raised more than $1 million to benefit neonatal projects at the ISCU and Department of Pediatrics at Evanston Hospital. Over the next three years, The Associate Board has committed to raising $300,000 to support projects addressing the whole-person needs of NorthShore patients—serving parent, child and the entire family.

Funds raised by The Associate Board directly support important programs for NorthShore’s smallest patients and their families, such as these:

Family Connection

Imagine your newborn child is in the ISCU. You want to spend every waking moment with them, but COVID-19 restrictions make that impossible. When you’re back home, you open your smartphone and tap on the NICVIEW app. A live video of your baby fills the screen. You see them stretch their little arms and hear a breathy yawn—and you feel a wave of calm wash over you. In this way, you can be close to your child until your next visit.

The Associate Board raised funds to purchase 16 NICVIEW cameras. These special cameras enable ISCU families to watch their baby from anywhere in the world via their smartphone, tablet or computer, 24/7.

Full Little Bellies

Many parents with babies in the ISCU continue to pump breast milk for their child. But without baby at home, it can be hard to get a good supply of milk. That’s why The Associate Board seeks to fund the rental of 10 hospital-grade breast pumps that can be used by breastfeeding parents.

Hospital-grade pumps are more powerful and effective than many personal-use pumps. They better mimic a baby’s natural stimulation and removal of milk, which is especially important for replenishing the milk supply. These special pumps ensure that baby has what they need to grow, and the parent has the support to comfortably feed baby.

Sensory Safe Spaces

The Associate Board is raising funds to help create pediatric multi-sensory safe spaces for children in our Pediatric Rehab and Child Life Services. This equipment includes 12 sensory crash pads, an adapted musical bubble tube and a Vecta Deluxe Mobile Sensory Station—each of which can be used to create stationary or portable full-sensory spaces.

Being in the hospital can be a scary experience for anyone, especially for child patients. Imagine being a sick child in the hospital. In addition to not feeling well, there are countless lights and alarms and medical staff coming in and out of the room. Sometimes, it’s just too much.

You need a safe, quiet place to rest—maybe even to relax. A nurse brings you to the multi-sensory room, turns off the lights and puts on some peaceful music, leaving you to rest on the soft mats and watch water droplets dance in the room’s illuminated bubble tube. You exhale with relief.

In addition to these vital patient-centered programs, The Associate Board is making an investment in comprehensive programs to ensure healthy and happy families. For instance, they’re providing $50,000/year for the next three years toward creating a breastfeeding peer counselor program in the ISCU and $25,000/year for the next three years to expand Child Life Services staff from one and a half to two full-time staff members—extending their service hours and departmental reach into the Emergency Department.

Our goal is to make these initiatives accessible to every family and young patient at NorthShore—and we look forward to another successful The Associate Board Annual Benefit next year that will continue this legacy of philanthropy.