November 19, 2015
WHO and WHEN:
Overland Park Regional Medical Center Level III NICU Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Research Medical Center Level III NICU 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Centerpoint Medical Center Level III NICU 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
First Annual NICU Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the Missouri Mavericks and hosted and served by James Arkell and Sarah Hunt Arkell and more than 100 families who formerly had babies in HCA Midwest Health NICUs to more than 200 families currently with critically ill babies in the NICU. Maverick players and the official team mascot, MAC, will also attend.
Overland Park Regional Medical Center, 10500 Quivira Road, Overland Park, Kan. 66215
Research Medical Center, 2316 E. Meyer Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64132
Centerpoint Medical Center, 19600 E. 39th St., Independence, Mo. 64057
When babies are born with critical healthcare needs, the compassionate and caring staffs of HCA Midwest Health’s NICUs jump into action, taking care of the newborns and their families. As a result of the life-changing experience, many parents of NICU graduates have a new perspective on gratitude. Every year, families and their OPRMC NICU graduates have gathered to cook and serve a Thanksgiving meal to families keeping vigil over their babies currently in the NICU.
This year former NICU families—also known as "NICU Family Graduates"— are providing side dishes, hosting and serving food at this event. This includes James Arkell and Sarah Hunt Arkell—whose son, Michael, spent five weeks in the Overland Park Regional Medical Center Level III NICU. The Missouri Mavericks, owned by the Lamar Hunt Jr. family, is sponsoring, along with Plowboys BBQ. The Circle of Hope Foundation will provide décor and other items.
“Sarah and I lead a life with intentional gratitude and the NICU experience heightened that,” Arkell says. “We’ve never been to a place so frequently in such a short period and had such positive and loving experiences each and every time, from housekeeping to the compassionate nurses and physicians. Though we were very anxious to leave with a healthy baby, once it was time to go home with Michael it proved difficult—we made lifelong friends and built relationships we could only imagine. It’s important for us to pay it forward this year for the families going through the difficult journey.”
“On behalf of the Missouri Mavericks team and staff, I’m pleased that we can assist with providing comfort this holiday season,” says Mavericks owner, Lamar Hunt Jr. “HCA Midwest’s Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s NICU was there for our family and we are honored to be there for them at this year’s event.”
“HCA Midwest Health NICUs have the best and brightest staff and physicians experts in the region,” says Katie Gonzalez, Circle of Hope Founding Member. “These physicians and nurses take tiny, sick babies and nurture and nourish them as if they are their own and I’ve seen that firsthand as a NICU graduate mom. It’s a stressful time for families and the annual Thanksgiving event is one way that families, such as the Arkells—who had a baby in our NICU—can help and give hope to families going through the difficult journey. It’s a very heartwarming, emotional event for everyone and we are proud that our NICU Parent Organization can give back. This year with the three NICUs coming together and each hosting their own dinner means we can impact even more families.”