Photo by Jessica Strom

WHO:  Overland Park Regional Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

WHAT:  Seventh Annual NICU Thanksgiving meal cooked and served by 20 families who formerly had babies in Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s Level III NICU to 50 families currently with critically ill babies in the NICU.

WHEN:  5 - 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, 2012; INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE BEGINNING AT 4:30 P.M.

WHERE: Overland Park Regional Medical Center, 10500 Quivira Road, Overland Park, Kan.  66215 (PLEASE GO TO FRONT LOBBY AND YOU WILL BE ESCORTED TO THE CAFE WHERE MEAL IS SERVED FOR INTERVIEWS)

WHY: When babies are born with critical healthcare needs, the compassionate and caring staff of Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s Level III NICU jumps into action, taking care of the newborns and their families.  As a result of their life-changing experience, many parents of OPRMC NICU graduates have a new perspective of gratitude. Every year, families and their OPRMC NICU graduates gather to cook and serve a Thanksgiving meal to families keeping vigil over their babies currently in the NICU. Turkey, the fixings, pumpkin pie and thanks are on the menu at OPRMC NICU.  “Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s NICU and its physicians and nurses take the tiniest and sickest of these babies and nurture and nourish them,” says Margaret Meier, NICU Director.  “It’s a stressful time for families.  This is one way that families who have had babies in our NICU can help and give hope to families going through the difficult journey. It’s a very heartwarming, emotional event for everyone.”  Overland Park Regional Medical Center is part of HCA Midwest Health—Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider.