Cleveland, OH,
11:58 AM

Project NICU Launches Family Assistance Fund at Local Hospitals to Support NICU Families

In partnership with The MetroHealth Foundation and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, this fund will support families experiencing financial hardships while their babies are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Cleveland - When a baby is born premature or with medical complications and is admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a period of separation between the infant and parents begins. Not only can this take an emotional toll on parents, but it can also create financial stress.

Project NICU, a Northeast-Ohio based nonprofit, supports families who have children in the NICU and the medical professionals that care for them. The organization recently launched a new fund aimed to help families experiencing financial hardships while in the NICU.

The Project NICU Family Assistance Fund has been established at Cleveland’s MetroHealth Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

“On top of families facing isolation and the wave of emotions that come along with the NICU stay, many experience financial stress while their children are in the NICU. Parents have to worry about covering costs from loss of work, transportation needs, childcare, and more. We wanted to help create a solution,” said Pam Frasco, Founder of Project NICU.

The newly established fund, which is a part of a commitment Project NICU has to partner hospitals, will give the NICU teams the ability to support families in the areas of fuel, food, lodging, and emergency bill pay assistance.

“We at Metro are proud to continue to partner with Project NICU in their efforts to provide assistance to NICU families, babies and caregivers. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide added assistance to our families who are faced with all the challenges of a NICU journey,” said a representative of The MetroHealth NICU Nursing Team.

In addition to the Family Assistance Fund, these partner hospitals will continue to receive support through NICU Care Packages, holiday treats, special events and more to help families feel connected during their stay.

“Project NICU is a trusted partner, supporting patients and families at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s since their inception,” said Traci Craver, Clinical Nurse Manager, Department of Neonatology, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “We are extremely honored to be a part of this inaugural fund to provide much needed resources for our families. Project NICU is unique in the fact they not only support the families but the caregivers as well. I have spent my entire 35-year career in the Neonatal world, I know this tremendous gift will help us support the many challenges a NICU family faces.”

The fund has been supported through local and national donors and Project NICU has a goal to grow it so that any hospital that would like to participate can have access to support their families.

“We want to thank our incredible donors who have continued to help us move our mission forward over the last few years. We also want to thank The Kaulig Foundation and WaterWipes USA who are our founding partners of The Family Assistance Fund. If there is one thing that is for sure, it truly takes a village,” Frasco adds.

To learn more about The Family Assistance Fund, visit

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

For more information, visit