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News Room: Press Releases

March of Dimes ambassadors raise awareness at Virtua

The National Ambassador and Local Ambassador of the March of Dimes (MOD) recently visited Virtua Voorhees to share their stories and raise awareness of the mission of the organization—to help mothers have full-term pregnancies, support families when something goes wrong and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.

National Ambassador Kieran Wittstruck and his parents, from Washington State, visited Virtua Voorhees and told their story. Born at 31 weeks and weighing only 3 lbs., 1 oz., Kieran spent the first month of his life in the hospital. He battled anemia, jaundice, apnea, bradycardia, a heart murmur and a brain cyst. With the help of medical treatment supported by the MOD, Kieran pulled through and is a healthy little boy today.

Local Ambassador Gianna Christman and her mother Angela, of Cherry Hill, also visited the hospital. Gianna weighed only 1 lb., 12 oz. and was 12 inches long at birth. She spent 129 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and underwent heart surgery, laser eye surgery for retinopathy of prematurity and was on a ventilator for three months. Today, 8-year-old Gianna has speech issues and is visually impaired but, despite those issues, is excelling in school and sports. During her extended time in the NICU, Gianna’s mother Angela became interested in nursing and ultimately returned to school and earned a nursing degree. She currently works at Virtua as a NICU nurse.

The March of Dimes Annual Walk America fundraiser will be held on the Virtua Voorhees Hospital campus on April 29, 2012.

As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit  www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.