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Adventist Health Lodi Memorial to host graduation for premature babies

It’s a little early for graduation season, but not at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, where the hospital is welcoming its tiniest patients back for a commencement ceremony honoring the journey into the world made by premature babies.

The community is invited to the Adventist Heath Lodi Memorial’s NICU Graduation at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in the hospital’s Vineyard Café. The event honors the premature babies who spent time in the new Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that opened in 2018. The ceremony will include a commencement speech by the organization’s chaplain and graduating babies will cross the stage with their families to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance.” As if babies alone weren’t cute enough, they will wear their own graduation caps and gowns as they receive their tiny diplomas.

The hospital’s Level II NICU in the maternal-child department can provide advanced specialty care. The NICU team of UC Davis Health specialists and Adventist Health Lodi Memorial nurses and staff cares for premature infants who need extra support. In January 2019, the NICU beds were filled a total of 282.52 hours; and in February, the hours jumped to 947.

“Our goal has always been to keep moms and babies together. Receiving our licensing for the Level II NICU has allowed us not only to keep babies who would have previously been transferred, we have also been able to bring them back from a higher level of care. We want to celebrate them. I’m incredibly proud,” said Maternal-Child Services Director Valerie Stump.

Since July 2018, UC Davis Health has collaborated with Adventist Health Lodi Memorial to offer an expanded array of pediatric inpatient and outpatient services for NICU, labor and delivery, emergency room and general inpatient services. This partnership has brought a Level II NICU to Lodi to treat premature infants who need extra support, and who receive their care from UC Davis Health specialists placed in Lodi. The new NICU has greatly increased the level of care available closer to patients’ homes, and it has decreased the need for transfers to UC Davis Medical Center, the region’s leading hospital for specialty and emergency services.

Adventist Health Lodi Memorial is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. Our compassionate and talented team of 33,300 includes more than 24,600 employees; 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 3,700 volunteers working together in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in 19 hospitals, more than 280 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 13 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. Together, our team is inspired to transform the health experience of our communities, with our unique focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing.

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