Dec. 21, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 50

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PREMIEre Program celebrates 20 years of living

Photo of kids L-R) Two-year-old twins Seth and Cesar Molina play a game of miniature golf during the PREMIEre Program's reunion.

To most, it looked like an ordinary children's party on a nice fall day. But to get on the guest list, the kids had to do something really remarkable. All were born severely premature. All survived, thanks to the help of the PREMIEre Program.

The PREMIEre Program is a high-risk, infant follow-up program for children weighing less than 3 pounds, 9 ounces at birth. PREMIEre offers specialized services such as developmental testing and comprehensive neurological exams. Children also are linked with early childhood intervention services that provide physical, occupational and speech therapy.

On Oct. 26, the program celebrated its 20th anniversary with a PREMIEre reunion party at the Health Science Center. Two of the oldest PREMIEre members were on hand as guests of honor: 21-year-old Chris Alvarez only weighed 1 pound, 9 ounces at birth and is now a student at Palo Alto College. Daniel Torres just turned 20 years old and is proud to be entering the work force for the first time.

The program also honored Wanda Daniels, a PREMIEre nurse case manager, for her contributions to PREMIEre.

Photo of award presentation Wanda Daniels (right) accepts an award from Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, president, for her outstanding contributions to the PREMIEre Program. Daniels is a nurse case manager for the program.

"It's a wonderful program," Daniels said. "While it's exciting for these parents to finally take their baby home, it's also scary. I think the parents really appreciate having someone to talk to who really takes an interest in their child."

Dr. Rajam Ramamurthy, professor in the department of pediatrics, directs the program. University Hospital encourages the reunion party each year and provides refreshments, invitations and staffing. Students from Clark High School volunteered to entertain the children with Halloween activities.


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