New Baby Hugging Program Introduced at Victoria General Hospital

The program is a Huggies® led initiative that provides long-term benefits to babies in need

Victoria – Island Health announced today the launch of the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged® initiative, a baby hugging program, at Victoria General Hospital (VGH) to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need to help them thrive. The hospital has implemented volunteers to hug babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), should circumstances prevent a parent from being at their newborn’s side.

“Innovations in patient care can sometimes be as simple as giving a hug,” says Island Health President and CEO, Dr. Brendan Carr. “As an organization focused on putting patients and their families first, I’m proud to see partnerships that help us achieve great things.”

Vulnerable babies who participate in the hugging program can experience benefits such as stabilized heart rates and body temperature, faster weight gain, improved oxygen levels and better tolerance to pain, to name a few.

Within the hospital, specially trained volunteers will be available, and on call, whenever a neonatal or pediatric intensive care infant would benefit from this hugging program. Volunteers will cuddle, rock and sing to newborns, often for several hours at a time.

Island Health is the latest organization to implement the Huggies® No Baby Unhugged initiative through a partnership with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC). To date, Huggies® has funded and facilitated three baby hugging programs in Canadian hospitals with plans for more, benefitting hundreds of babies admitted to NICUs and PICUs each year.

“We are thrilled to help bring this program to Island Health to give their tiniest patients the hugs they need at a critical time in their development,” says CAPHC President and CEO, Emily Gruenwoldt. “Huggies® deeply believes in the power of hugs and through our partnership, we are dedicated to nurturing babies with the optimal care, comfort, and protection they need to become happy and healthy children.”

To learn more about Island Health’s baby hugging program, visit viha.ca. To learn more about Huggies® No Baby Unhugged® initiative and the benefits of hugging, visit nobabyunhugged.ca.


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About Island Health
Island Health, one of six health jurisdictions in British Columbia, provides health care and support services to more than 765,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.

With more than 19,000 staff, 1,900 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

About The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC)
The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) is a non-profit organization recognized as a leader in advancing the improvement of healthcare for Canada’s children and youth. CAPHC’s mandate is to affect system-wide change in the delivery of healthcare services by focusing on innovative initiatives and programs that have broad national relevance. Today, CAPHC is proud to support inter-professional child and youth health care providers and families from more than 70 organizations in Canada. To learn more about CAPHC’s programs, partners, and services, visit www.caphc.org or follow us on Twitter, @CAPHCTweets.

About the Huggies® Brand
Huggies® believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. That's why every Huggies® diaper and wipe is inspired by parents' hugs. For nearly 40 years, Huggies® has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to help babies thrive. No Baby Unhugged® is Huggies® promise to ensure babies get the care they need to thrive, including innovative everyday products, growing hospital hugger programs, specially-designed products for the smallest of babies, and on-going clinical research and resources. Huggies® is the #1 diaper brand in Canadian hospitals and partners with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes that meet the specific needs of pre-term infants. For more information on Huggies® No Baby Unhugged® program visitwww.nobabyunhugged.ca.

About Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world's population trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No.1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 143-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Inquiries:

Island Health Communications
Chris Shewchuk
250.370.8377
christopher.shewchuk@viha.ca

Veritas Communications
Erica Park
416.955.4597
park@veritasinc.com

Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres
Emily Gruenwoldt
613.738.4164 
egruenwoldt@caphc.org