KH.ORG 19 your child and see your heart outside of your body. The NICU is never a place we anticipate to be, and I always want families to know we are going to give the best care and advocate for their babies.” Today, Freja is a healthy 10-month-old baby who is busy keeping her parents on their toes. “She has always been sassy, from the second she was born,” said Gabby. Freja still has some respiratory issues that have led to near hospitalizations, but Gabby said if that were to happen, she knows her daughter would be in good hands. “I have a lot of confidence in the care Kootenai Health can provide my family. When you are there with your child, you can see that they are really caring for the entire family,” said Gabby. “Nothing prepares you for seeing your baby lying in a hospital bed,” said Kane’s mom, Darby Tingelstad. “As a Kootenai Health nurse myself, I have so much respect and appreciation for the care the pediatric team is able to deliver.” Kane’s first visit was at 5 days old for jaundice, following by four more hospitalizations for respiratory illnesses and, most recently, a tonsillectomy. “The team at Kootenai Health has always been so welcoming and have made being in the hospital less scary for him,” said Darby. “At this point, he just sees it as a place he can eat mac and cheese in bed, watch movies, and play with toys.” Much like the NICU, the pediatrics team has spent a lot of time increasing the level of patient acuity they are able to care for. The reason is simple: They know it is what is best for their patients. “Our goal from birth on is to keep kids in Idaho, receiving care close to their support system,” said Hinah Parker, M.D., medical director of pediatrics at Kootenai Health. “We have done so much work to build up our arsenal of tools here, and we are always looking for ways we can ensure the best patient experience and optimize all of our relationships and resources.” For moms like Gabby and Darby, it is reassuring to know that not only will their children be receiving incredible medical care, but their children will feel safe and taken care of. “We have a community feel,” said Dr. Parker. “I care for my children’s classmates, and we’ll see them in our day-to-day life at the grocery store or park. It means a lot to feel so involved in our patients’ lives, which is uncommon in an inpatient setting but something I really enjoy.” “I may not have had the ideal first moments with my daughter,” said Gabby. “But thanks to the care from Kootenai Health, I have my daughter here, and I know the best times are yet to come.” Happier birth days Learn more about the safe, comfortable care of our Family Birth Center at KH.org/birthing. For A home away from home Four-year-old Kane Tingelstad has had his fair share of hospital stays since he was born in November 2019.