Two young children stand side-by-side next to a white-lettered sign that reads NICU GRAD.
NICU graduates have plenty of reasons to smile. Credit: Courtesy photo

Dignity Health’s Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC) hosted more than 300 people, including tiny tots and their loved ones, at a one-of-a-kind reunion, Oct. 28 at the hospital campus.

At the annual event, graduates of Marian’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) reunite with those who cared for them during their earliest and most fragile days.

They all celebrate the courageous beginnings of hundreds of little ones, many of whom entered the world weighing less than three pounds.

Caregivers, neonatologists, nurses, Santa Maria Fire, volunteers and Marian Hospital President/CEO Sue Andersen welcomed the graduates.

Food, games, crafts, photo booths, and face painting were offered for families to enjoy.

“It’s so important for our team to see all the graduates of our NICU,” Anderson said. “There are more than 4,500 of them since we opened the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. To see them now grown up as healthy, happy kids is a wonderful experience.”

According to the hospital., Marian’s 21-bed, Community (Level III) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the most sophisticated and technologically-advanced unit in the region.

For more about Marian Regional Medical Center’s NICU visit