Wesley Healthcare December 22, 2014

WICHITA – Wichita State University pre-nursing student Dylan Severson, 19, was looking for a project that would make a difference. A volunteer at Wesley Medical Center since July, he heard the neonatal unit was running low on scent circles, a soft handmade patch of fabric a mother wears and then gives to her hospitalized baby so he or she is exposed to the mother’s scent.

Severson, who is on the student board of WSU’s Future Healthcare Professionals organization, rallied about 70 members who then cut and stitched one afternoon to provide more than 550 scent circles to Wesley.

“We had been brainstorming what kind of opportunities we wanted to present to our group that were manageable and meaningful, and this was it,” Severson said. “Everybody just jumped right in.”

Wesley neonatal nurse liaison Rhonda Bauer said scent circles are a fairly new concept that builds upon an infant’s chemo-sensory development. Continually exposing a baby to his or her mother’s scent helps the child bond, particularly when the mother cannot hold the infant frequently. Scent circles are always in demand, Bauer said.

“The reality of it is, a lot of moms can’t be there all the time, and that’s where scent circles really help,” she said. “These moms are so grateful just to realize there is something they are able to do to help with their babies’ development.”

Wesley’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides specialized care that is critical to sustaining and nurturing new life. Infants who have complications due to premature birth, infections or other health challenges are admitted to the unit. Patient care comes from neonatologists, nurses and neonatal respiratory therapists who have an average tenure of more than 10 years. Pediatric subspecialists in cardiology, neurology and orthopedics join pediatric residents and neonatal nurse practitioners in meeting the challenges of these newborns.

Wesley’s NICU is one of only 54 in the nation – and the only hospital in Kansas – to be designated a Center for Excellence by the Clinic Science Institute of United’s OptumHealth Network. The selection is based on stringent clinical standards including superior outcomes, expertise and care.

For more information about Wesley Medical Center and its neonatal services, please visit www.wesleymc.com.

Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national rankings, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER and Galichia ER. Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital, WesleyCare Clinics and the Pediatric Center of Kansas. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit www.wesleymc.com.