California Here I Come: Vermont Oxford Network (VON) NICU On-Site Collaboration

I’m so excited, gang! I leave on Sunday to represent Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota at the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) NICU On-Site Collaboration in Orange County, California. This “improvement collaborative will provide both a structure and discipline for healthcare teams, in partnership with families, to improve the quality, safety, efficiency and value of neonatal care.”

I will be traveling with a team from Children’s, which includes a neonatalogist, a respiratory therapist, and registered nurse, and…me.

We will be working with hospital staff and other parent representatives from across the county to develop policy and procedures that will help make a NICU stay better for patients and families.

Wow. This is an amazing opportunity and I’m grateful for the chance to make a difference! God, I hope I don’t say anything stupid! 😉

Lately, this motto has been rolling around in my head: “Out of trauma, comes purpose.” Maybe this is a step in the right direction for me? We shall see!

The icing in the cake is that two of my friends from San Diego are driving up so we can have dinner together. It will be so great to catch up – it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen either of them and I miss them.

But a 5 day trip away from home is cause for all kinds of anxiety and stress. This will be the longest I’ve ever been away from Jax! Sometimes, I miss him when I put him to bed at night, so this will be interesting. I hope that I’m too busy enjoying the beautiful southern California scenery and feeling inspired to make a difference that I am distracted a bit from missing my family.

Also, Jax is having a bit of a rough week breathing-wise. He caught a cold last week and it went immediately into his lungs. A chest X-ray showed some “streaking” which could be an indicator of a lung infection or the start of pneumonia. He started on antibiotics on Tuesday and already seems to be doing better. But, still. Great timing, kid.

I know Jax will be in good hands while I’m gone. His Great-Aunt and Great-Uncle and Grandma will be taking turns staying with him while Steve is at work. My friend’s 10-year-old daughter will also be here to chase Jax up and down the sidewalk and help keep him entertained. She just completed her babysitting course, so this will be good practice for her! I’m so grateful there are people who are willing to put their own lives on hold for a week so I can do this!

I’ll keep you guys posted on our Facebook page throughout the week. Wish me luck!

Jax and his "cousin" making some wishes...
Summer fun! Make a wish!