• Winthrop Professional Building
    6152 Delancey Station Street, Suite 205
    Riverview, FL 33578
  • Nurses, physicians and caregivers join international competition to read to babies Neonatologist’s story of her daughter’s loss inspires Read-a-thon

    BRANDON, Fla.  (Sept. 11, 2023) -   Today is day one of a near two-week competition (September 11-21) encouraging caregivers and families around the world to read to babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). This year’s Read-a-thon marks the third annual competition aimed to support infant brain development, family bonding and reducing stress. It’s the first year HCA Florida Brandon Hospital has participated in the competition.
    “It’s never too early to start reading to babies,” said Dr. Bianca Karber, neonatologist at Brandon Hospital. “Reading to infants has been shown to enhance their brain development, language skills, vocabulary and build motor skills. Our hope is to not only spread this message within the walls of our NICU, but outside in the community. If our team wins the competition, that’s amazing. But at the end of the day, we all win when we read to our babies!”
    The Read-a-thon has extra special meaning to Dr. Karber. The NICU team at Brandon Hospital started a library in honor of Dr. Karber’s baby girl, Pippa, who she lost during pregnancy earlier this year. Pippa’s memory lives on through the legacy of the library and with each book that’s read to babies in the NICU.
    The 2022 event included 154 NICUs around the globe with a total of 31,879 reading sessions with NICU babies. The HCA Florida Brandon Hospital NICU team has a goal of 200 reading sessions over the next 10 days.

    Laura D. Stauter
    Director, Communications and Community Engagement
    HCA Florida Brandon Hospital
    119 Oakfield Drive
    Brandon, FL 33511
    P 813.916.0634 |  M 727.947.8680