The Wawa Foundation has donated $35,000 in support of the Deborah F. Sager Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Inspira Medical Center Vineland. The recent gift to the Deborah F. Sager Memorial Fund (DFSMF) brings the Wawa Foundation’s total contribution to $190,000. These dollars have played a pivotal role in enabling the fund to provide the vital support needed to “Make Miracles Happen” each day at the Deborah F. Sager NICU.
“We are so grateful to the Wawa Foundation for its continued support of our Deborah F. Sager NICU,” said Amy Mansue, president and CEO, Inspira Health. “The tireless efforts of Penny Sager Rossi, chair of the DFSMF, and the philanthropy of the Wawa Foundation help ensure we can offer the very best care to our premature and critically ill babies and support their families.
The NICU, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022, provides complex care to babies born at any gestational age. Over the past 10 years, neonatologists from Nemours Children’s Health and the professional neonatal nurses of Inspira have provided lifesaving medical care to more than 2,500 vulnerable infants, enabling them to not only survive, but to grow and thrive.
“The skilled medical team, nurses, therapists and support staff in the Deborah F. Sager NICU provide exceptional state-of-the-art medical care to our smallest patients,” said Dr. Ashish Gupta, Chief of Neonatology for the NICU and Medical Director at Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley Partnerships. “Generous support like this enables us to acquire the latest technology and equipment for our newborns.”
Liz Simeone, President of The Wawa Foundation, said “We are proud to continue our support of the Deborah F. Sager NICU at Inspira Medical Center in Vineland and their work to serve families and give tiny babies a chance to live full and healthy lives. The Wawa Foundation is committed to improving lives in our communities by supporting local organizations providing life-saving care to infants and families.”
According to the March of Dimes, one in 11 babies (9.2 percent of live births) was born preterm in New Jersey in 2021. The rate of preterm birth in New Jersey is highest for black infants (13.5 percent), followed by Hispanics (10.0 percent), American Indian/Alaska Natives (9.0 percent), Asian/Pacific Islanders (8.5 percent) and Whites (8.0 percent). Preterm birth is defined as a live birth before 37 completed weeks gestation.
The earnings from the DFSMF are utilized to purchase the necessary equipment and advance the lifesaving medical care required to care for critically ill and premature babies. The Fund also supports the care of pediatric patients at Inspira Health. Aided by generous philanthropic support, the Deborah F. Sager NICU improves the lives of premature and critically ill babies from Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic, Cape May and Gloucester counties.