A healthy baby home sooner.
That's the goal of a new partnership between Children's of Mississippi and Sta-Home, a home health agency based in Jackson.
The dilemma, said Fran Malenzi, director of newborn services for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, was that some babies, those whose health and strength are growing, could go home from the neonatal intensive care unit if parents had the support of a home health nurse stopping in to check on progress.
Without that transitional support, those babies would stay in the NICU, she said.
Children's of Mississippi “built a program with Sta-Home from the ground up,” she said, “so we can care for these babies.”
Available in Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Simpson and Holmes counties, the program began in December. Carleigh Jae Course was among the first babies to be in the program.
She and twin brother Carter, now 6 months old, were born at about 24 weeks, Carleigh Jae at 1 pound, 10 ounces, and Carter just one ounce heavier than his sister. Carter came home after a three-month stay at the NICU, but Carleigh Jae, still on oxygen, stayed four months.