Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Celebrates Comprehensive Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center Opening
Published: Friday, January 29, 2021
Funded by a $1.5 million gift presented last year by Cory and David Le Norman of Oklahoma City, the Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center opened January 27, at Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health.
The comprehensive nutrition center further elevates the care provided at the nationally ranked hospital, adding state-of-the art technologies that promote best practices in nutritional science.
"The opening of the Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center marks the culmination of dreams and visions, inspired by the family's personal experience and their passion to help others facing critical situations with their newborns," said Jon Hayes, president, Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health.
"The generous gift presented a year ago by the Le Norman family made it possible for hospital and physician leaders to realize a long-held, shared vision to provide top-notch services vital to health and healing of the children we care for at Oklahoma Children's Hospital."
Quincy Le Norman, the center's namesake, was born at Children's only 24 weeks into pregnancy and weighing less than two pounds. Cory Le Norman said the pregnancy seemed routine in every respect with no hint of trouble until two days before delivery. According to neonatology experts, a 38- to 40-week gestation period is optimal. Earlier deliveries often place extreme demands on every system in a newborn's body.
Extraordinary levels of care are imperative and nutrition is a critical element for survival as development continues. Now 18, Quincy shows no signs of an early struggle for life. Quincy said knowing the new center will bear her name feels a little surreal. "All my life I've heard all the stories about being born here, the time I spent here - that I was so small, I could be held in one hand. "To this day, I still feel really connected to many of the nurses. It really was my first home."
"The reason Quincy is here today is because of the great support we received - skilled and dedicated nurses, doctors and other personnel, and a facility that was equipped to provide the best possible care," said Cory Le Norman.
Nearly three months after her birth, Quincy was discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. But the Le Normans never forgot the labor of love that gave Quincy a chance at life. In years that followed, Cory and David began to consider how to give back in ways that matched their keen interest and addressed identified needs at Oklahoma Children's Hospital.
At the same time, NICU personnel and hospital leaders envisioned better ways to meet their patients' diverse nutritional demands. Laying the groundwork that brought the project to fruition, leaders toured several NICU centers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, observing best practices in neonatal nutrition handling, touring thoughtfully planned facilities, and identifying a model to emulate at Children's. A collaboration with Dallas Children's Hospital resulted in the development of the first milk lab at Oklahoma Children's Hospital. The advantages and obvious value of centralized preparation were recognized, and this larger workspace was outgrown rapidly.
Trent Tipple, M.D., neonatology specialist and chief of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, said, "Oklahoma Children's Hospital is where the state's tiniest and most vulnerable patients come for the level of care their complex conditions require. The Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center represents another major step forward in neonatal nutrition. Thanks to this generous gift, we now have greater capacity to deliver life-saving technologies and redefine excellence in neonatal care."
The new nutrition center supports not only babies receiving care as NICU patients, but other infants and pediatric patients who face a range of complex feeding needs. These special needs may be related to specific treatment, care or rehab related to surgery, or due to other unique nutritional deficits or sensitivities.
One of the significant features that sets apart the new nutrition center is implementation of a new software system, Timeless, which uses unique barcode identifiers to ensure not only a correct match for every feeding, but that the feeding unit has not expired. This system is able to track and trace breast milk, door milk, formula and other additives, while interfacing with the patient's electronic health record. A human milk analyzer determines how and to what extent milk must be fortified to meet specific nutritional needs.
Jamie Kilpatrick, M.S., R.N., CENP, director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Oklahoma Children's Hospital, has a rare connection with the family that is both professional and personal, having been one of the specialized NICU nurses who cared for Quincy throughout her hospitalization 18 years ago.
"It is a unique and special experience to see first-hand, the long-term impact of life-saving efforts performed every day at Children's. Now a young adult, Quincy's life and the generosity of her family have made it possible for us to drive innovation that will improve lives for years to come," Kilpatrick said.
She explained more benefits of the new nutrition center.
"Previously, formula and human milk preparation for neonates was done in a small human milk lab we outgrew long ago. While exceptionally skilled hospital team members provided outstanding services, following best practices to meet high-reliability nutrition demands, a more seamless operation now benefits our patients as well as staff members."
Kilpatrick said the more centralized location, expanded for improved efficiency, supports greater capacity to supply the best nutritional services possible on a broader scale.
The Le Normans said they're grateful for the opportunity they have to touch so many lives in such a meaningful way.
"We always had every confidence in the quality of care Quincy received - it was without a doubt the very best. It's amazing to think what the new center can do to minimize the stress that other families may face under similar circumstances."