The Christiana Care Cuddlers Program received the 2016 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Award on Oct. 19 at Dover Downs Hotel. The annual award recognizes the important contributions of Delaware’s adult volunteers.
Through the Christiana Care Cuddlers Program, a team of 50 volunteers hold and provide comfort to the tiniest and most fragile hospital patients: the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) unit, both of which are located at Christiana Hospital. These devoted volunteers ensure that these babies experience the ongoing human interaction so essential to their well-being, especially when parents are juggling multiple responsibilities — such as jobs and other children — and cannot always be at the hospital.
While holding a baby may seem like an innate skill, these babies are medically fragile patients who require specially trained individuals to ensure their safety and comfort.
Christiana Care Manager of Volunteer Services Rose Wessells nominated the volunteers for the award.
In addition, Marsh Uebler was individually recognized for the 2016 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service for spending more than 2,000 hours volunteering in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at the NICU. Uebler’s duties include welcoming families and children to the support room and providing supervision for children as needed. She also provides refreshments for children and families and helps to keep the Ronald McDonald Family Room clean.