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UT Health Tyler NICU to celebrate Prematurity Awareness Month

Tyler — As a thank you to UT Health Tyler’s Family Birthplace and neonatal intensive care unit teams, and to raise awareness during National Prematurity Awareness Month, Millennium Neonatology is partnering with Tyler District 3 Councilwoman Shirley McKellar to provide a free hamburger lunch to UT Health Tyler staff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in the UT Health Tyler Pavilion parking lot.

UT Health Tyler’s NICU has treated more than 100 infants since opening earlier this year, which is ahead of projections.

“I think it’s because of the great need for the services here,” said NICU Director Marcie Tunstall. “The NICU has provided increased access to care for our families here in East Texas and we’re able to keep them here locally so they’re not having to make long commutes.”

About one in 10 babies are born preterm, and immediate access to a NICU can provide them the life-saving care they need. Millennium Neonatology provides board-certified neonatologists and other specialists who work together with UT Health Tyler to provide family-centered, compassionate care using evidence-based principles, with constant quality assurance and improvement.

“While 1 in 10 babies are born premature, even babies born on time can have unexpected problems requiring them to go to the NICU for specialized care. Newborn babies can face a host of problems and are often the most fragile and sickest patients in the hospital,” said Dr. Snehal Doshi, CEO of Millennium Medical Group. “It takes a village to raise a child, and that certainly is true in taking care of them as well when they are sick. It has taken the support of every department in the hospital to help provide care to the first 100 babies, and we want to thank each and every one of them.”

District 3 City Councilwoman Shirley McKellar’s restaurant, Taste of North de Light, will provide the food for the event. McKellar said awareness about prematurity, and the fact that UT Health East Texas has resources to treat premature infants, is important to highlight, especially during National Prematurity Awareness Month.

McKellar recalled a dear friend whose grandbaby was transferred to a Fort Worth NICU, which resulted in the family having to commute for two months until the baby was able to return home.

“Now we don’t have to do that, we can take care of our babies right here and it’s not a hardship on our families,” she said.

About UT Health East Texas

UT Health East Texas provides care to thousands of patients each year through an extensive regional network that includes 10 hospitals, more than 50 clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 50 ambulances and four helicopters, and a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including the region’s only Level 1 trauma facility.

As a partner with The University of Texas System, UT Health East Texas is uniquely positioned to provide patients with access to leading-edge research and clinical therapies while training and educating the next generation of physicians and other health professionals. The nationally recognized UT System also includes The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, as well as three other major university medical centers located throughout the state.

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