Prisma Health Richland Hospital has received the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged grant – a $10,000 award to support or establish hugging programs, where hospital volunteers hold newborns whose parents may live far away or are unable to visit due to work, child care or other obligations. The hospital is one of eight hospitals awarded funding to boost care for its NICU patients through the grant. The grant will allow the hospital to purchase more chairs, books and other items that will increase comfort for patients, volunteers and families.
For more than 500,000 of premature babies born in the United States each year, a human touch can have a powerful impact on healthy growth and development.
"Our goal at Prisma Health is to do everything that we can to support our families," said Mollie Ironside, pediatric speech language pathologist, Prisma Health Richland Hospital. “We know that touch is a vital part of caring for each patient and something as simple as a hug helps provide babies with what they need to develop and grow. The hugs given, by our dedicated volunteers, also reduce the burden and stress for families who cannot always be there to cuddle their babies.”
Since the No Baby Unhugged program was initiated in 2016, Huggies has awarded $330,000 in grant funding to hospitals. The grants have been used to purchase hugging chairs, recruit and train volunteers, and promote the idea of cuddler programs.
"It's not only premature babies who benefit greatly from these hugs in the NICU, but also near- or full-term babies," said Aric Melzl, general manager for Huggies Healthcare. "Hospitals that have received a Huggies' No Baby Unhugged grant have shown that babies receiving hugs continue to develop motor skills and gain weight."
For more information about the No Baby Unhugged program and becoming a Prisma Health Personal Touch Volunteer, call April Feraci at 803-434-2659 or visit our website.
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is the largest not-for-profit health organization in South Carolina, serving more than 1.2 million patients annually. The company has one Purpose:Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference. Prisma Health is comprised of two affiliates: Prisma Health–Upstate and Prisma Health– Midlands. Together they are dedicated to improving the health of all South Carolinians through improved clinical quality, access to care and patient experience, while also addressing the rising cost of health care. The affiliates are nationally recognized as some of the best places to work and to receive care. With more than 30,000 team members, physicians and volunteers, Prisma Health is the state’s largest private employer. Prisma Health works to improve the health of the local communities in the Midlands and Upstateregions through its community health programs. As one of the 50 largest health systems in the country, Prisma Health is committed to academic and clinical research excellence and focuses on educating the next generation of physicians, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals. The Prisma Health executive home office is in Greenville, South Carolina. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.
About the Huggies brand
Huggies believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. That's why every Huggies diaper and wipe is inspired by parents' hugs. For 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to help babies thrive. No Baby Unhugged is Huggies promise to ensure babies get the care they need to thrive – from innovative everyday products, growing hospital hugger programs and specially-designed products for the tiniest of babies, to diapers and wipes donations. Huggies partners with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes that meet the specific needs of pre-term infants, and now more hospitals than ever are using Huggies. For more information on the Huggies No Baby Unhugged program, visit the "Why Huggies?" page at Huggies.com.