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Foundation story

Giving babies the precious gift of sight

Published on Monday May 13, 2024

Thanks to your donations, the Centra Foundation was able to commit funding for state-of-the-art equipment that will allow babies born prematurely to be assessed locally for a severe eye condition. Excellent and timely assessment can help save their sight.  

Few gifts are more precious than the gift of sight.

However, babies born prematurely are at risk of an eye condition that can cause retinal detachment, vision loss and even blindness if they do not receive timely assessment and treatment.

“Babies born prior to 31 weeks of gestation require imaging and assessment of their risks of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a severe eye condition,” said Erin Baird, DNP, Executive Medical Director, Women & Children’s Services. “The good news is that it is very treatable if detected in time, so early and excellent assessment is critical.”  

Thanks to your gifts, at-risk babies will soon be able to receive sight-saving screenings on a RetCam, an advanced pediatric ophthalmic imaging system, without traveling out of Centra’s service area. The equipment will be housed in Centra’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital, which serves over 500 babies and families annually. The advanced technology is one of many ways in which your donations are impacting the health of central Virginia’s tiniest patients and giving local families hope for a bright future.

“This technology allows us to prevent a debilitating disease, keep our families together and close to home for services, and continue to serve our community’s needs,” Erin said. “Thank you!”

Your donations help to ensure quality care locally for the tiniest patients and all patients, regardless of ability to pay. 

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