SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

‘Brave Beginnings’ Grant Will Aid Premature Babies


May 29, 2018
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - In Southern Southeast Alaska, babies born prematurely, which is more than three weeks before the estimated due date, sometimes must be medevaced for life-saving care to hospitals with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The nearest NICU is in Seattle, 680 miles away.

Davies-Barry Insurance - Ketchikan, Alaska

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

By early summer, premature babies born at Ketchikan Medical Center will have better chance to stay home for care with the addition of technology funded by a grant from Brave Beginnings, a program developed out of the Will Rogers Institute.

In April, Brave Beginnings awarded $27,457.00 to New Beginnings for two Neonatal Cardiac Monitors and a Vein Viewer.

The Ketchikan Medical Center (KMC) New Beginnings Birthing Center cared for 177 births last year. Twelve of those babies were medevaced for additional medical support.

Sarah Cook RN is the Manager of New Beginnings, “As a result of this funding, we will be able to locate one cardiac monitor in the nursery and one monitor in the operating room for C-section births. These machines allow providers to accurately monitor the baby's heart rate and rhythm and help providers visualize and identify possible blood flow and cardiac related problems or issues.

“The vein finder will help nurses when placing an IV or drawing labs in babies. The Vein Viewer illuminates the tiny veins so they are easily visualized. This will decrease the amount of sticks or pokes the baby will receive.”

Ketchikan Medical Center has the only OB/GYN physicians in the region it serves - a catchment area that includes Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell, Petersburg, Metlakatla, and other villages in Southern Southeast. The closest same level of care is in Juneau, 300 miles away.

Matt Eisenhower is the Director of the Ketchikan Medical Center Foundation, “we are grateful for the Will Roger’s Institute investment in our community. Providing medical care for some of the most fragile and vulnerable patients in rural Alaska is at the core of our mission.

“These vital pieces of medical equipment will go a long way to increasing the level of care offered to babies being born in Southeast AK.”

Brave Beginnings, a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, provides grants for essential neonatal intensive care equipment like the cardiac monitors and vein viewers to hospitals nationwide. Since 2006, they have granted $7.5 million to nearly 200 hospitals.

The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation has an interesting history. Founded in the 1930’s, following the death of Will Rogers in a plane crash in Barrow, Alaska, it’s original purpose was to help vaudevillians who needed treatment for tuberculosis. The Foundation now operates three programs: Brave Beginnings, the Will Rogers Institute that supports study of pulmonary disorders and provides pulmonary rehabilitation at academic and medical centers, and the Pioneers Assistance Fund that aids members of the motion picture industry who encounter an illness, injury, or life changing event.


On the Web:

Brave Beginnings


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center



Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


Submit A Letter to SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2018
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.