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pure foundation fund winners 2021 (Irma Duke, Victoria Culp Smith, Jayme Opalko, Kayla Deverson, and Melissa Luongo)

WaterWipes® announces 2021 Pure Foundation Fund Winners


WaterWipes® is proud to announce that Irma Duke, Victoria Culp Smith, Jayme Opalko, Kayla Deverson, and Melissa Luongo have been awarded the Pure Foundation Fund to further support maternity and neonatal care.

Each winner has been awarded a Pure Foundation Fund award and $3,000 USD for their department to continue to improve the care of parents and babies. These winners were either nominated by a parent, colleague, or themselves for their beyond incredible achievements in taking care of patients and families.

Hear from some of our winners on their plans for the funds from the Pure Foundation Fund.

Thank you, WaterWipes®, winning this award means we will continue to buy desperately needed books for our babies. It also means we can put together other reading related activities because we believe that reading should be fun and we do that by celebrating reading as often as we can.

Irma Duke, NICU Nurse, USA

I’d like to use the money to further fund our NeoPals endeavor of legacy building opportunities for our families who never get to take their little one’s home. One of the services I offer in the NICU, often for our most critically ill babies, is recording their heartbeat then placing it in a stuffed animal of the family’s choosing. Sometimes I’ll link the heartbeat with a meaningful song the family chooses, writes, or sings themselves. While these memory making opportunities certainly cannot replace the loss of a child, they allow the parents to keep a piece of their baby with them forever. I am so grateful for this opportunity to improve the quality of care and support we offer at our hospital with the funds.

Vicky Smith, Board-Certified Music Therapist, USA

We are incredibly honored to have won the WaterWipes® Pure Foundation Fund Award. Winning this award acknowledges and recognizes the importance of the work that we do with the diverse community that we work within. The award money will be well utilized and primarily put towards hospital programs that support families who are experiencing financial hardships, as well as to financially support the multiple social work led programs that were designed to support and meet the psychosocial needs of the families we work with.

Melissa Luongo & Kayla Deverson, Social Workers, Canada

Celebrating our healthcare heroes

Everyday maternity, neonatal, and postnatal care providers, as well as social workers and more, achieve incredible things when caring for expectant parents, new parents, and babies. This year marks the first-ever Pure Foundation Fund in North America and WaterWipes® set out to find healthcare professionals from across the USA and Canada, who in the words of their patients and colleagues, were beyond incredible. The Pure Foundation Fund was created to recognize their achievements and say thank you for the work that they do every day. In total, WaterWipes received 195 nominations detailing the outstanding work of many healthcare professionals.

To help decide the winners, a judging panel was assembled. The judges, which included a WaterWipes® representative and a representative from the NICU Parent Network, Canadian Premature Babies Foundation, and Canadian Association of Neonatal Nurses, were impressed by each of the winners and their outstanding commitment to improving care for parents and babies. The winners of the 2021 Pure Foundation Fund awards have truly set the bar high for 2022.

Congratulations again to Irma Duke, Victoria Culp Smith, Jayme Opalko, Kayla Deverson, and Melissa Luongo on winning this year’s Pure Foundation Fund awards and WaterWipes® would like to extend a special thank you to all those who nominated a healthcare hero.

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