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CornerStone Vol. 26, No. 2, Fall 2016/Winter 2017
Front page...

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Enters New Phase
Two Siblings, One Medical Miracle
Growing for the Future: NYU Winthrop and NYU Langone Medical Center Announce Plans to Affiliate
Longtime Orthopedic Nurse Turns to her Own Institution for Care
Celebrating a Decade of Inspired Care
Young Diver Recovers Quickly Thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
NYU Winthrop Earns High Accolades from U.S. News & World Report
NYU Winthrop Hospital Receives National Recognition for Meritorious Outcomes from the American College of Surgeons
Trauma Center Receives Verification as an Adult Level 1 Trauma Center
Phoebe Lynn Lewis Foundation Raises Lung Cancer Awareness at NYU Winthrop and Beyond
Researchers Discover Biomarker for Multiple Sclerosis Detection
Lieutenant Governor Tours New Research & Academic Center
NYU Winthrop Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month
NYU Winthrop Gala Raises More than $1,009,000 for Research
31st Annual Golf Tournament Raises $635,000 for NYU Winthrop's Research Programs
Child Safety Tips for Grandparents
Local Foundation Committed in the Fight against Pulmonary Fibrosis Shows Generous support for ILD Research
"Bonding with Baby" Helps Siblings of Babies in the NICU
Local Kiwanis Club Shows Committed Support to Child Life
NYU Winthrop's Child Life Program Earns Clinical Internship Accreditation
Matthew Fetzer Foundation Fulfills a Wish to Help Children Fighting Cancer
The Franceschini Family Continues Decade-Long Tradition of Giving to NYU Winthrop
NYU Winthrop Honors Apollo Family for Continued Benevolence
A Celebration of Life
Spreading Hope and Love
15 Years of Hope and Healing
Rock2Beat Red Carpet Party Supported by CME
Golfers Score a Hole-in-One for Kids with Cancer
Community Health Assessment Reveals Obesity and Chronic Disease Are Important Issues for Long Islanders
Garden City Girl Scouts Make "Surgi Dolls" for Young Patients
NYU Winthrop Named to the Top 500 of the 2016 Homecare Elite
NFL Player and NYU Winthrop Physician Team Up to Celebrate Survivorship with Special Brunch

"Bonding with Baby" Helps Siblings of Babies in the NICU

Every Sunday, Christine Vaskas, MT-BC, LCAT, Music Therapist at NYU Winthrop, can be found in the Hospital’s playroom making music with a small group of young people that have one particular thing in common – a new baby brother or sister in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

"Sometimes babies can be in the NICU for months on end, and that can cause a lot of stress for the family unit," said Ms. Vaskas, who utilizes music, education and play to help families during what can be a challenging time.

Ms. Vaskas leads NYU Winthrop's Child Life Program's Sibling Support Group called "Bonding with Baby," which meets every Sunday for one hour and allows siblings of babies in the NICU to learn about the NICU experience and express their emotions through music and play, as well as visit their sibling through face-to-face or IPad communication. Children can release stress through drumming, or make up a song to sing about their excitement over the new baby. Ms. Vaskas also makes crafts with the group such as picture frames, t-shirts boasting their new big brother or sister status, or scrap books.

"Kids seem more relaxed in the process, knowing that the Hospital doesn't have to be a scary place and they are involved with the care," said Ms. Vaskas.

  • Christine Vaskas, MT-BC, LCAT, Music Therapist, makes a craft with the sibling of a newborn in the NICU as part of NYU Winthrop’s “Bonding with Baby” program.

  • Christine Vaskas, MT-BC, LCAT, Music Therapist plays guitar with a sibling.

  • Christine Vaskas, MT-BC, LCAT, Music Therapist reads a book with a sibling.

  • Christine Vaskas, MT-BC, LCAT, Music Therapist reads a book with a sibling.

  • Christine Vaskas, MT-BC, LCAT, Music Therapist on the computer with a sibling.

  • Sibling sees his newborn sibling.

As a way to educate the child about their new brother or sister's situation, Ms. Vaskas may use a doll to demonstrate a baby sleeping in an incubator. When appropriate, the Child Life program and Ms. Vaskas can help facilitate a visit between the sibling and baby, and if a face-to-face visit is not possible, Ms. Vaskas can be present in the NICU with the baby and parents and facilitate a FaceTime conversation with the sibling.

"Bonding with Baby" is a product of NYU Winthrop's Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC), which seeks to improve the patient experience by engaging patients and their families in every aspect of care, and is part of NYU Winthrop's commitment to patient and family-centered care.

Parents report that "Bonding with Baby" has been a positive experience for their children, and helped them to process their experiences and feelings. It also gives parents the opportunity to spend dedicated time with their newborn, with the knowledge their other children are in good hands.

The program is tailored to each child and family, and all activities are age-appropriate. To be eligible for the program, the sibling must be between the ages of three and a half and 12 years old, and the newborn must have an expected stay the NICU of at least two weeks. Participants are asked to register the Wednesday before the Sunday program so that the music therapist can prepare for the visit.  

For more information about "Bonding with Baby" and the Child Life Program at NYU Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org.