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Members of the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation helped Peninsula Regional Medical Center to dedicate its new Mother-Baby Unit on Friday, November 28. Built with the help of a $500,000 grant from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the new unit provides large, modern, private rooms with more space for mothers, babies and families.
The unit was dedicated in the name of Delmarva native Madeline Perdue, who passed away in 2011, and was the mother of Perdue Farms Chairman Jim Perdue. As they helped cut the ribbon on the new unit, Jim Perdue and his sisters Anne Oliviero and Sandra Spedden were presented with a miniature version of the dedication sign bearing Madeline’s name. Sibling Beverly Perdue Jennings was unable to attend. All of Madeline Perdue’s children were born at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.
“At Perdue, we’re proud to continue our support for PRMC and its mission to improve the communities it serves,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “This is important to the Foundation and the Perdue family because PRMC serves the entire region that Perdue considers home. Madeline and Frank Perdue raised their children here so there is something very fitting about the Mother-Baby unit being what directly benefits from this gift. The renovations that these funds helped make possible are amazing and will help many families — many of which will be Perdue associates and family members — welcome their babies.”
The new rooms were planned with families and enhanced bonding in mind. Each room has a daybed for a support person to stay overnight, as well as a comfortable glider, to help mothers to breastfeed and bond with babies. The rooms in the newly remodeled unit are clustered in three-room “pods,” so nursing teams will always be close by and available to their patients. Peninsula Regional’s Mother-Baby Unit features Couplet Care, in which the same nurse takes care of both moms and babies, together in the same room. Research shows that families benefit from Couplet Care with increased bonding, babies who cry less and are easier to soothe. Each room has a computer, as well as an area for the newborns to be examined, with additional lighting for the nurses and pediatricians to best assess the babies. There is also a parent lounge for education on care after discharge.
“We want to help each of the 2,000 babies born here every year to have an exceptional start in life, and this is a beautiful new setting that will help us to achieve that,” said Diane Hitchens, RN, the Director of Women’s & Children’s Services at PRMC.