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Labor assessment area opening featuring Jeff Ross’ Babies Born Here project



Renown Children’s Hospital will open a new labor assessment area this week and introduce its Babies Born Here photography project. The project is a just-completed collaboration with well-established local portrait artist, Jeff Ross, and features 30 new portraits of local babies born at Renown Regional Medical Center this past summer.

The new space and portraits offer families more privacy and better atmosphere during the labor assessment experience.

“The Babies Born Here photography project has been one of my most unique assignments,” Ross said. “I was able to witness the love and joy these newborns brought to their families and the passionate care they received from the nurses and staff at Renown. These were some of my youngest ‘models’ ever: some only six hours old. And we were able to photograph some extended families, including siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts with the newborns.”

Although he makes a living taking pictures for advertising, magazines, annual reports, web sites and catalogs, Ross’ passion is in photographing people—trying to capture a slice of their personality in a split second, going beyond the public face to see the person who’s inside. The Babies Born Here Project is the fourth of these personal projects.

Ross’ other three personal projects include the following.

  1. Photographing the people with mental and/or physical challenges at High Sierra Industries in 2006.
  2. Capturing the men, women and children who receive food, shelter, education and support from Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada in 2009.
  3. Photographing people recovering from heart attacks, strokes and head trauma injuries who were getting their lives back with the help of the therapists at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital in 2010. This project was granted to Ross as an Artist-in-Residence by the Renown Health Foundation.

Funded in part through a nearly $800,000 federal allocation, the newly remodeled six bed labor assessment unit includes all private rooms, a nurse’s station, a family lounge with comfortable seating for the whole family and new technology to improve care for patients.

The 3D ultra sound machine in the assessment area provides high-resolution, three dimensional images of the unborn baby sharp enough to see blood flowing through the umbilical cord.

“This new ultra sound will help us [perinatologists and medical professionals] triage patients more quickly and help visualize and diagnose any complications with the baby prior to delivery,” said Dr. Earle Oki, medical director of Perinatology Services for Renown Children’s Hospital. “The new unit and technology also helps with patients who are visiting the Reno area or who have not had any prenatal care prior to their visit to the hospital.”

Representatives from the media are invited to attend a special VIP event to interview Jeff Ross and families featured in some of the portraits Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. All media must be escorted on hospital property. To ensure access for interviews and photographs, contact Dan Davis, Public Relations Business Partner at (775) 691-7308.

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