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Approximately 5500 lives of fragile infants and their familes have been impacted by the Low Birth Weight Development Center since 1992.
The Low Birth Weight Development Center was founded in 1992 by Dr. Elizabeth Heyne, PA-C, PsyD and Dr. Roy Heyne, MD both specialists in the field of low birth weight pediatrics. Through their work with low birth weight infants and NICU graduates, they first realized the need for additional resources and support to address the unique issues for these high risk infants and their families.
The infants served at the Low Birth Weight Development Center are born as early as 24 weeks gestational age (full-term infants are 40 weeks) and with very low birth weight (less than 1500 grams or approx. 3.5 lbs).
Most of these NICU babies can spend 3 months or more in a neonatal intensive care unit prior to being discharged, but it is not enough to help these fragile babies survive in the hospital. Something must be done to ensure they thrive once they go home.
These infants are at high risk for long-term health problems including cerebral palsy, respiratory distress, chronic lung disease, vision and hearing problems, as well as learning disabilities and developmental delays.
The first few years in follow-up care is crucial for these babies. Intervention and support in these early years can improve their long-term outcomes and reduce the risks for life-long disabilities (Heyne, 2021).