Today at ceremonies at Mother Frances Hospital, Gay Smith, the Tyler Market President for Bank of America presented hospital officials with a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for the New Lives NICU Campaign. This lead corporate donation will be used for construction costs of the first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Tyler, which is scheduled to be completed at Mother Frances in 2008.
"At Bank of America, we realize there is a critical shortage of advanced neonatal health care in our community. Of the nearly 3,000 babies born in our community between July 2006 and 2007, more than 180 of them, and many mothers of these newborns, required transportation to facilities outside the area to receive an advanced level of care, and an additional 162 newborns elsewhere in the region also required transport to an outside NICU," said Smith. "We are proud to partner with Mother Frances as they serve as an anchor in our community, providing babies and their mothers in Tyler with a comprehensiveNICU, and helping families avoid the stress and financial burden of being far from home to receive needed care."
Mother Frances has also brought Dr. Brenda Morris on board as the new medical director of the NICU. Dr. Morris is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, and has served as Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics University of Texas-Houston Medical School.