August 2022 – Organization Highlight

Organization: Neonatal Comfort Care Program
Established: 2008
Outreach: We are centered in New York City; however, our evidence based care is shared nationally and internationally.

Organization Focus: Our team is focused on the perinatal/neonatal population. Our goal is to provide comprehensive medical, nursing, and emotional care to families facing pregnancies with complex congenital and/or life-limiting diagnoses, delivery of extremely premature babies, and babies in the NICU already who are critically ill and/or facing end of life. Our care often starts prenatally, continues through delivery, post-partum and beyond with a focus on the baby’s comfort and family support.

Background: In 2008, Dr. Elvira Parravicini, a neonatologist at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) / New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital (NYP), was called to provide counseling to a mother whose baby was prenatally diagnosed with a life-limiting genetic condition. Although no medical or surgical treatments were available to help this baby girl recover from her condition, Dr. Parravicini was able to alleviate her suffering and provide comfort during her brief life. Dr. Parravicini’s work with this mother made her realize that babies with short life expectancies required a specialized medical protocol that the hospital, at that time, did not have in place.

Accordingly, Dr. Parravicini began to assemble a standard plan of care, which, over time, developed into an innovative interdisciplinary program called the Neonatal Comfort Care Program (NCCP). The Program’s goals: to provide the most comfortable and loving environment for these babies, to help their families manage and navigate the immense practical and emotional burdens that come with their babies’ conditions, and to offer an option of care that families find safe, supportive and in-line with their personal beliefs and desires.

Additional Information: The 2022 Next-Level Perinatal Palliative Care Training Course is exclusively VIRTUAL and available internationally!

This training addresses the growing need to support families and ensure comfort of the neonate with life-limiting conditions. An interdisciplinary team developed a 3-day intensive training, which will include information about the successful experiences of the Neonatal Comfort Care Program in providing perinatal palliative care for over a decade at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Discussions include pregnancy and delivery management, support for the family through appropriate obstetric care, pre- and postnatal consults, shared decision-making, advance care planning, and many other topics essential to perinatal palliative care.