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Hospital Offers Announcements on Web

May 25, 1998

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) _ Like most new parents, Husna and Majed Khader wanted to share their bundle of joy with the world. And thanks to a new program at the Huntington hospital where their son was born, that’s exactly what they did.

Hours after Yazan Majed’s birth, the newest Khader’s first picture was put on the Internet and beamed around the globe.

Yazan was one of dozens of babies whose pictures and vital statistics have been uploaded to the Internet at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

``It is really excellent,″ said Yazan’s dad, Majed. ``It’s a way to communicate with the world.″

Majed, an associate professor at Marshall University, got emails from former students as far away as California and Amman, Jordan, congratulating him on the birth, he said. He was hoping his parents in the West Bank would be able to see their 6-pound 4-ounce grandson.

The free service, Nursery Net, was started in March 1997 after staffers heard about a similar service at another hospital, said Kathy Cosco, spokeswoman for Cabell Huntington.

Maternity worker Denise Webb and pharmacist Rob Stanton shared their computer knowledge to help get the program started.

``We have heard from a grandmother taking chemo treatments in Durham, N.C., where there was a question whether she would ever see the baby and certainly not in a timely fashion. And about a father in the Navy, stationed in Italy, who saw his son for the first time on the screen,″ Stanton said.

Visitors access the online pictures by going to Cabell Huntington’s home page and choosing the Nursery Net page. A stack of colored alphabet blocks serves as an index, based on the last name of the baby’s mother. The baby’s picture, his vital information such as weight and length, the doctors name and a message from the family is displayed.

Texas businessman John Chisler was able to see his nephew, Grant, just four hours after his birth last October.

``It’s very nice to see a hospital do that,″ Chisler said.

Sherry Gallaher of Barboursville was able to share her new daughter, Meredith Nichole, with family in Kentucky.

``I’m impressed with the service,″ Gallaher said. ``I was concerned at first about all these crazies who could see your child and harm it in some way, but the safeguards prevent that from happening.″

The hospital provides uses special programming to ensure the photos won’t be abused or security compromised, Stanton said. No addresses are shown and participating parents must sign consent forms.

St. Mary’s Hospital and Pleasant Valley Hospital are considering offering the service, said Jeff Barnes, spokesman at St. Mary’s. A spokeswoman at Charleston Area Medical Center’s maternity ward said she was unsure if the program was used there.

___

Nursery Net can be found by accessing Cabell Huntington Hospital’s home page at http://www.cabellhuntington.org and clicking on the Nursery Net icon.

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