Imagine having your newborn placed in a neo-natal intensive care unit. You and your family are traveling, or maybe you live nearby but can’t spend every waking hour in the hospital. How can you watch your baby’s progress and growth? If your child is in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit of the University of Massachusetts Memorial Children’s Medical Center in Worcester you are in luck — thanks to Rotarians throughout District 7910.
 
When Shrewsbury Rotarian Roy Balfour helped to coordinate the neonatal intensive care unit web cam project (NICView) at UMass Memorial back in 2014, he didn't know that one day he would become one of the benficiaries of this multi-club project. Since it's inception, NICView has allowed families from across the state, country, and even around
the world to peek in on their babies who required additional care, sometimes even after parents have left the hosiptal. Now, five years later, Roy was able to check in on his grandson who spent some time in the NICU after being born on January 29, 2019.
 
Thirteen Rotary clubs and one Rotaract club sponsored the wireless cameras which can be positioned within the NICU as needed. In some cases clubs obtained matching support from the Rotary Foundation, a perfect example your donations to the Foundation come back to the District to fund efforts here at home. Roy and his team focused heavily on having donors recognize what the cameras were, how they worked, and what this all meant for the hospital, the infants' families and to Rotary itself.
 
Eight community organizations also donated, including a number of banks and a healthcare insurer. Not only did these organizations provide funding for cameras, they also helped to energize the project. In the end, this hands on effort resulted in 49 NICView cameras at UMass having had at least 24,000 logins from family members throughout Massachusetts and across 43 states, 30 countries, and spanning five continents.
 
The community saw a personal humanitarian value connection in the NICView project. A centralized project website was developed to document progress in measurable steps, and to explain the goals of the project.  As a result of its success, District 7910's NICView project has become a template for Clubs in other districts who have replicated it in the local NICU's. To learn more, visit http://nicviewrotary.org.
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