MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The walls at Zenclay on University Avenue in Morgantown will soon be adorned with photos of some very special smiling faces: kids who were cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at West Virginia University Children’s Hospital.

The collection, called “Blossoms in the Winter,” will be featured during a gallery showing from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23 at Zenclay. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served.

The photos in the collection were taken by Emily Polak, daughter of Mark Polak, M.D., director of the NICU, who along with fellow neonatologist Susan Lynch, M.D., wanted to create an awareness of the NICU’s new Family-Centered Care Team.

“This team was created to support families on the journey through their babies’ stay in the NICU, focusing on the most critical babies, which are those born at least 13-weeks premature and weighing less than 2.2 pounds,” Dr. Polak said. “The team walks with these families on their journey through pregnancy, birth and challenged survival or death. This honors the baby as well as the family. Parents can create a loving experience for themselves and their baby, and healthcare professionals, families and friends can offer support in various forms during their journey.”

The family-centered approach also includes interdisciplinary care coordination and a follow-up clinic after babies are discharged from the NICU.

The event is free and open to the public. WVU Children’s Hospital Director Cheryl Jones, R.N., Dr. Polak and Dr. Lynch will be in attendance. Some of the parents of the photographed children will be there to share their stories on an individual basis with guests.

The photos will be on display at Zenclay until Jan. 29. At that time, they will be moved to the NICU. “They’re family photos,” Dr. Polak said. “They’re going to make our NICU house a home.”

To RSVP for the event, contact Andrea Parsons, WVU Children’s Hospital development officer, at 304-598-4346 ext. 5 or

For more information on WVU Children’s Hospital see

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 01-19-11