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Art donation a comfort to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital NICU families
Photo caption: Olive Herman works on a piece of art with Antonette Cesarz, BSN, RNC-NIC, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. The art equipment is stationed in a waiting area at the NICU courtesy of a donation from The Land of Nod in Oak Brook.

Hinsdale – Children waiting with their families at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital can keep their creativity flowing thanks to a donation from The Land of Nod in Oak Brook.

The store has donated a book rack, craft table and craft supplies to the hospital, items now set up in the unit’s waiting room. Older siblings of newborns on the unit are free to use the crayons, chalk and other items while waiting with their families. Staff has also donated books to fill the book rack from the store.

The need to have something to keep siblings busy while their families waited became apparent about a year ago to Antonette Cesarz, BSN, RNC-NIC, with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“We had a family who would bring their 5-year-old son with them,” Cesarz said. “He was wonderful and well-behaved, but he would be bored.”

Cesarz would do little projects with the boy at the bedside, she said. This gave him something to do and allowed his family to spend time with their newborn, learning the best care methods for their child.

While working through the Magnet Nursing process, which Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is seeking, Cesarz met Sue Kett, who leads the Healing Arts program run by Adventist Midwest Health.

Kett spoke of the utility of the arts in the healing process, and that’s when Cesarz came up with the idea to establish an art station on the unit for children.

The hope, Kett said, is that the station will allow the parents to relax, knowing their children are engaged while waiting for their parents. Nurses can spend more time with the family, and the babies get the benefit of fuller attention from their parents.

“And the siblings will have a chance to express themselves using art during a stressful time for their family,” Kett said.

Kett visited The Land of Nod in Oak Brook, to see if anything there might be a good fit for the hospital. When store manager Bob Mielke found out why she wanted the items, he offered to donate them to the hospital.

“My daughter actually is a NICU survivor,” Mielke said. “It was definitely something near and dear to my heart.”

The donation to the hospital was a chance for the store to give back to the community, Mielke said, something it is looking to do more. “This is a good start,” he said.

Amy Pavloski-Herman’s daughter Olive is one of the young artists who has used the new art station. It was good to have something for her daughter to do, Pavloski-Herman said, something a little cheery.

“She’s 4 and at that rambunctious stage, so it was good for her to do instead of sitting in a chair,” Pavloski-Herman said.

Olive’s artwork now hangs framed in the unit’s waiting room, along with work done by other visiting children.

When Pavloski-Herman’s newborn leaves the NICU, she plans to take that particular piece of artwork with her to her family’s Chicago home.

“I want to take it so I can frame it in my own house,” she said. “It will be nice, to have a good memory.”

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354