April 20, 2006

Contact: Barbara Lemaire (505) 277-5628;Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(UNM, Albuquerque) The University of New Mexico Children 's Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Program (NICU) will celebrate its 30thanniversary Saturday, April 22 on the UNM Health Sciences Center Plaza . Families in connection with the NICU will be in attendance from cities all over New Mexico to reunite with the doctors and nurses who cared for their children.

The celebration will include food, games, crafts and music. In addition, hard hat tours of the new UNM Children's Hospital, Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion will be conducted by hospital officials.

The NICU has been a huge source of pride for the UNM Children's Hospital. In the program's 30 years, more than 17,000 infants have been treated.

The Neonatology Program at the UNM Health Sciences Center continues to have a dramatic impact on the health of New Mexico 's children. Before the program's inception in 1971, the neonatal mortality rate in New Mexico was 15/1,000 live births, compared to 14.2/1,000 live births nationwide. In 2003, the neonatal mortality rate in New Mexico was the sixth lowest in the nation at 3.7/1,000 live births.