Grant Application

Lauren Lorenzi Quigley, MS, LPC, Tracy Baust , Alexandra Mikulis , BSN, RN, CCRN, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Proposed Innovation

Children born with congenital heart defects (CHD) require complex care and extended hospitalizations in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), putting them at increased risk of neurodevelopmental delays, including impaired intellectual, academic, social, attention, memory, motor, visual-spatial, and executive function abilities.

This project is designed to optimize outcomes for infants by standardizing developmental care practices in the CICU and increasing family understanding and involvement in their care.

Improvements in Action

Funding provided through the Beckwith Institute grant will be used to implement monthly educational sessions and supply developmental care tools and materials to support patients, their families, and staff.

The goal is to:

  • Enhance parental understanding of developmental care practices and increase family-integrated caregiving.
  • Educate staff on neurodevelopmental risks and outcomes associated with CHD and increase staff participation in standardized neurodevelopmental rounds and care.
  • Provide standardized positioning and developmental tools for use by staff and families in the CICU.

Results – In Progress

The project is expected to help bedside nurses — as well as members of the multidisciplinary team of developmental and child-life specialists, physical and occupational therapists, physicians, and clinical research coordinators — feel confident and competent in incorporating neurodevelopmental care practices into their daily patient care. In addition, the focus on parental education and family-integrated care is expected to improve long-term developmental functioning and quality of life for infants with CHD.