Grant to Aid Parents of Seriously Ill Newborns

The Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center has received a $30,000 grant to develop a support system for parents of infants in neonatal intensive care.

The grant, from the Los Angeles Countywide Interagency Coordinating Council, will fund weekly support groups, informational seminars, in-home consultation and community referrals for parents of seriously ill newborns.

"Parents of infants with special medical needs have special needs of their own," said Gail Abarbanel, social services director for the hospital.

"The support program will help them cope with the stress of an extended hospital stay and ease the transition when their infants are ready to go home."

The hospital has the city's only licensed neonatal intensive care unit for premature infants and other newborns who suffer from life-threatening conditions.

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