A press release from Sierra View Hospital
New life helps remind us that no matter the challenges in our lives, there is hope. Despite the pandemic, Sierra View Medical Center has continued to welcome our community’s tiniest patients. One by one, every Sierra View baby born in one of the toughest times the world has ever seen has arrived with one thing in common: they have brought joy to our hospital and growth and new possibilities for our community.
To help celebrate that joy, Sierra View Medical Center has launched a new program dedicated to newborns. Parents wishing to receive a spiritual welcome and prayer for their new baby can request a Baby Blessing from the Chaplaincy Services team at the hospital. The nursing team supporting a new mom will contact the chaplaincy department. A chaplaincy team member will then join the new mom and baby to share a special moment of prayer designed to help welcome the baby and mark the sacredness and wonder of their arrival. “This new program helps welcome a new life in a spiritually fulfilling way for parents seeking that type of comforting approach,” says Faye Cortes, Interim Director for Maternal Child Health.
Sara Gonzalez’s newborn son was the first Sierra View baby to receive a Baby Blessing at the hospital. In October of 2021, Sara’s mother saw a poster in her patient room and suggested requesting the service right away. Soon, Sara was joined by members of her nursing team and Chaplaincy Services team members to help welcome her newborn with gentle spiritual words of kindness. Retired pastor and now Chaplain Assistant James Roger led the Baby Blessing prayer for Gonzalez’s new baby.
Gonzalez said it was nice to have a spiritual service such as this one. She and her family pray together, and she likes the feeling of knowing that her newborn son would begin his life of prayer only hours after being born.
“It’s just a blessing altogether to have a baby,” said the baby’s father, Edward Gonzalez. The Baby Blessing, he thinks, makes it all that more special. An older brother and sister are also helping to welcome the new addition to the local Gonzalez family.
The idea to bring the service to Sierra View Medical Center came together after SVMC VP of Marketing and Human Resources Tracy Canales witnessed a similar service in a Southern California hospital. “I’m so excited our Chaplaincy Services department and MCH department has embraced the concept of the baby blessing. They have really done an amazing job to make it a reality and it is truly something special to offer at SVMC,” says Canales.
SVMC HR Manager for Talent Development and Chaplaincy Services Colleen Wilson has worked with several teams, including the Maternal Child Health department and Marketing, to help make the new Baby Blessings program a reality. For Wilson, it is exciting to lead a program “celebrating new life and the babies that are born here at Sierra View.” Chaplaincy Assistant Pastor Michael Trimble is working closely with Wilson and other chaplaincy team members to ensure that parents who seek it can receive a Baby Blessing in either English or Spanish while adhering to the religious needs of the parents. “It’s just an exciting time,” says Pastor Trimble. As a young pastor, he says anytime he was in a hospital, he always stopped at the nursery to remind himself of how great God is and how wonderful a blessing new life is.
New moms and dads seeking to receive a Baby Blessing during their Sierra View Medical Center stay may contact their nursing team while at the hospital. Depending on availability and time of day, a Chaplaincy Services team member will help welcome the new baby.