Sharp Mary Birch Receives $5M Donation to Give Babies the Best Start in Life
The Alexander and Eva Nemeth Foundation is the largest benefactor in the hospital's history.
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns has received a $5 million donation to help fund two programs that give at-risk infants the healthiest start in life. The donation — from the San Diego-based Alexander and Eva Nemeth Foundation — will support the hospital's Neonatal Research Institute and the Nemeth NICU Follow-Up Clinic, which bears the foundation's name from an initial $1 million gift last year.
The Neonatal Research Institute was launched at Sharp Mary Birch in 2013 to improve the lives of all newborns by discovering new, leading-edge treatments and practices. Since the Institute's inception, more than 1,600 infants have participated in more than 30 clinical research trials.
In 2017, the Institute received support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the form of a $2.9 million research grant to expand research into umbilical cord milking and delayed cord clamping, two techniques that allow newborns to receive more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from the placenta. Study results proved that delayed cord clamping provides preterm infants additional health benefits, which resulted in a recommendation by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to standardize the practice nationwide.
The Nemeth NICU Follow-Up Clinic promotes optimal growth and success for babies born preterm through assessments, interventions and focused follow-up services. The clinic ensures these infants meet developmental milestones throughout childhood and are prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond. The clinic will open in a newly expanded location across from the hospital campus at 8010 Frost Street in November.
"We are happy to donate this gift to support work at the Neonatal Research Institute and all of early intervention programs that provide comprehensive treatment for babies born too soon — those who are the tiniest and most vulnerable in our society," said Teresa Castigilione, executive director for the Alexander and Eva Nemeth Foundation.
"This donation will significantly help our efforts for further research and expand our capability to ensure the smallest of babies are growing up healthy and strong," said Dr. Anup Katheria, director of the Neonatal Research Institute.
About Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns
As San Diego's only hospital dedicated exclusively to women and newborns, Sharp Mary Birch offers a full range of maternity, neonatal and women's surgical services, and delivers nearly 9,000 babies annually. The hospital has nine operating rooms; 206 beds, including the region's largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with 84 beds; a 14-bed women's acute care unit; a post-anesthesia care unit with a nursery to allow mom and baby stay together; and the Neonatal Research Institute.