Children’s of Alabama Receives $25,000 from Mercedes-Benz for Remote Healthcare Technology
BIRMINGHAM – Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., recently awarded $25,000 to Children’s of Alabama to advance the hospital’s use of remote patient monitoring technology.
The donation is part of larger $100,000 gift to area causes that fit within MBUSI’s philanthropic mission of “Driving Forward. Giving Back.”
The Hearts at Home program at Children’s will benefit from Vivify Health’s remote patient monitoring and communication technology. Hearts at Home provides home monitoring and support for babies with complex congenital heart disease treated in the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama at Children’s. Babies in the program are born with a single ventricle (pumping chamber) and will undergo three major open heart surgeries by the time they are two to three years old. The first and most complex surgery occurs at 1 to 2 weeks old, with the second surgery at 4 to 12 months old.
The months spent at home after the first and before the second surgery are the most critical and the most overwhelming for parents. Monitoring of the baby’s oxygen saturation and growth at home helps parents recognize changes before they become a life threatening problem. During a child’s hospital stay, parents receive training before their baby goes home.
Via mobile device and cloud technology, Vivify Health allows healthcare providers to conduct virtual care visits, communicate with parents, and monitor patients on a smartphone or tablet. Parents, in turn, have immediate, reliable communication with healthcare providers, and are able to document their baby’s biometric data such as weight, pulse, oxygen saturation and blood pressure on a tablet issued by the hospital.
With the launch of Vivify Health at Children’s, Hearts at Home aims to improve patient family communication while reducing unnecessary hospital readmission or emergency room visits, and improve caregivers’ ability to follow vital sign trends through minute-by-minute monitoring and documentation.
Yung Lau, M.D., a pediatric electrophysiologist at Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and Leslie Ann Rhodes, M.D., pediatric cardiovascular fellowship director at Children’s and assistant professor of pediatrics at UAB, agree the Vivify Health system will reinforce close contact between healthcare providers and patients beyond the walls of the hospital.
“We truly believe this will save lives and comfort our families at home,” Rhodes said. “This will change lives.”
Jason Hoff, president and CEO of MBUSI, said the company is pleased to be able to support Children’s in its mission of providing medical care for ill and injured children.
“In addition to helping spur jobs and economic growth, our MBUSI family is committed to helping Alabama build better schools, better homes, better opportunities and better communities for families to connect with one another. Our vision is to make this community a more caring, more connected and more prosperous place to live,” Hoff said.
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 41 other states and eight foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at www.childrensal.org.
About Mercedes-Benz U.S. International,Inc.
The Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant (MBUSI) was the first major automaker to open a passenger car facility in Alabama. MBUSI is the production location for the GLE-, GLS- and GLE Coupe SUVs, as well as the C-Class sedan for North America. In 2015, the plant produced more than 300,000 vehicles and the plant currently employs more than 3,500 Team Members and is responsible for more than 22,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region. To date, Mercedes-Benz has made a $4.5 billion capital investment in the Tuscaloosa operations and more than 2.2 million vehicles have rolled off the plant's line for customers around the world.