Families with newborns in the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas will now have a new Bright Space where they can play and have fun — thanks to an innovative partnership with the March of Dimes Dallas Division and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.
Bright Spaces, the signature program of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, creates warm, enriching playrooms in organizations that give children and families a special place to gather together and have fun. The Bright Space at Texas Health Dallas is the first Bright Space for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery siblings in Texas and only 1 of 8 to be in a NICU in the U.S.
“This Bright Space will allow families to be together and support each other,” said David Lissy, CEO of Bright Horizons Family Solutions. “We hope it will maintain a sense of normalcy for siblings and families of NICU babies.”
For new mom Shiloh Morris, the idea of a Bright Space for siblings is music to her ears. Baby Noah was born in October and spent several weeks in both the NICU and Special Care Nursery at Texas Health Dallas. Big sister Nevaeh frequently visited her brother and mom while they stayed in the hospital and most of the time they found themselves in the family room watching TV.
“This was a new experience for Nevaeh, who is 6, and at times I could tell she was really worried about her brother and me,” Morris said. “I think adding this space will be a welcome distraction for kiddos like her and their families. They can play together and not focus on being in the hospital.” She added that as a mom of two, you know you need to be there for the baby but it’s also important to make sure you have a chance to relax and bond with your older child during this time.
In addition to serving as a gathering place for families, the Bright Space at Texas Health Dallas will offer hope and inspiration through beautiful photography and inspiring quotes mounted on the walls. It also includes special materials for sibling with a particular focus on pretend play involving baby dolls, home living and medical play.
“It is truly an honor to have been selected as the first Bright Space in Texas,” said Suzanne Murphy, director of women’s services at Texas Health Dallas. “Families are a vital part of our care team so we are pleased to offer this new, comforting space to the siblings and families as an extension of our family-centered approach to care.”
“We are proud to launch the Texas Chapter’s first NICU Family Support Bright Spaces for Siblings program in Dallas,” Julie Whitsitt, March of Dimes Dallas Division executive director, said. “When a baby is born too soon or with birth defects, the entire family suffers. Our partnership with Bright Horizons and Texas Health Dallas will allow us to bring comfort and emotional support to local NICU families. We are very grateful to our partners for their hard work and support in making this program possible.”
About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 898-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Dallas.
About Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Bright Horizons Family Solutions is the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education and work/life solutions. The company operates child care and early education centers across the United States, Europe and Canada. The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children was founded in 1999 to help forward the vision of Bright Horizons Family Solutions to brighten the lives of children, youth, and families in crisis. Bright Spaces is a program of the Foundation, creating dedicated play areas in homeless shelters and community agencies. There are now more than 280 Bright Spaces located in shelters in more than 35 states around the country and Europe, serving thousands of children each year. More information is at brighthorizonsfoundation.org.
About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters and divisions nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com/texas or nacersano.org.