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NICU Nest Family Support Program

The NICU Nest Family Support program provides peer support, education, resources, and comfort to families who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, prenatal diagnosis, hospital bed rest, or NICU stay. NICU Nest team members have personal experience with having children in the NICU and raising children with long-term health issues and disabilities. We believe parents are the “experts” on their child and important members of their child’s care team.

Population served:

Families of patients in all areas of maternity and NICU


Parent-to-parent support
Healthcare financing assessment and insurance assistance
Parent support groups and respite groups
Prenatal tours
Community resources
Healthcare system navigation

Program Faculty and Providers

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Susan Henderson-Sears, MA

CPXP- Director

Susan is the NICU Nest family support director. Susan felt called to focus on helping support, educate and advocate for families navigating healthcare systems after the birth of her triplets. She is a certified patient experience professional through the Beryl Institute, where she also received her patient advocacy certification. Susan also earned a Holistic Leadership Certification through IUPUI O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is the site coordinator for the Riley NICU Reach Out and Read program, and she oversees the Red Shoes employee recognition award within IU Health. Her interests are in parent-to-parent support and healthcare communications, especially using patient/caregiver stories for learning.

Susan still volunteers as a peer mentor for families experiencing high-risk pregnancies, as well as families parenting higher-order multiples. She is also a peer reviewer for PCORI.

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Scott C. Denne, MD

Faculty advisor

Scott Denne, MD, is a professor and associate chair of pediatrics for clinical and translational research at Indiana University School of Medicine. He received his MD at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and completed his residency in pediatrics and fellowship in neonatology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1986. He has a long-standing research program examining neonatal nutrition and metabolism, and is the associate director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), where he is the director of the Indiana Clinical Research Center, and director of the CTSI Project Development Teams. Dr. Denne was recently selected to be the chair of the Pediatric Policy Council. He has represented the American Pediatric Society on the Pediatric Policy Council since 2012. In the last six years, Dr. Denne has shown an incredible commitment to advocacy for child health. In addition, he is passionate about improving pediatrics by advancing public policy. He is a current member of the American Pediatric Society Advocacy Committee. He is a past member of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Review Committee Study Section and the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Sub-board of the American Board of Pediatrics.

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Beth DeHoff, MPH

Financial Resource Coordinator

Beth is the NICU Nest financial resource coordinator. She enjoys supporting families of children with special health care needs and helping them find health care financing solutions that will allow them to thrive. Being the parent of a son with disabilities and special health care needs has been the catalyst for her work and advocacy. Beth is also the chairperson of the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. She holds a master’s degree in public health and serves on the Neuro NICU committee and the Riley ethics committee. She is trained in Unit-Based Ethics Conversations and in Spirituality in Health Care. She loves to read, write, and participate in arts and recreation opportunities with her son.

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Lindsey Bartley

Project Coordinator

Lindsey is the project coordinator for NICU Nest. Lindsey has an extensive employment history managing and administering complex financial programs; and with the birth of her two daughters with congenital heart disease, Lindsey has changed careers to follow her passion helping families with a baby in the NICU. Lindsey’s interests include improving patient and family experience, creating healthcare processes that remove barriers and stressors for families, and supporting and empowering parents to advocate for their child. Lindsey is currently enrolled in the Master of Healthcare Administration program with the Fairbanks School of Public Health. Lindsey also volunteers as a peer-mentor for the Ollie Hinkle Heart Foundation and as a Woman of Impact for the American Heart Association.

Rachel Scott

Family Support Coordinator Riley SFT

Rachel is the NICU Nest family support coordinator in the Simon Family Tower NICU. Rachel is the parent of two children with complex medical needs. Her goal is to help empower families of children with needs by helping them navigate programs and resources. Rachel was a combat medic in the US Air Force and is currently enrolled in an art therapy masters program. Rachel has a special interest in pediatric genetic disorders and parent-infant bonding. Rachel serves as the parent liaison for the NICU Genome Program and a member of the Riley Developmental Care Committee. Rachel volunteers with her family as a Riley ambassador for multiple fundraising incentives, one of their favorites being the annual Riley Miracle Ride. Rachel is honored to be able to serve NICU families in this role.

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Courtney Espinosa

Family Support Coordinator Riley Fetal Center

Courtney Espinosa is the family support coordinator in the Riley Fetal Center and also supports families in the NICU, CVICU, and High Risk Antepartum unit. Courtney is fluent in Spanish and although she is a certified medical interpreter, she prefers to use her skills to work directly with families who will be experiencing an ICU stay with their child. She is a certified Indiana Navigator, assisting families in enrolling in Medicaid and understanding their private insurance coverage. Courtney has the ability to relate to families on a very personal level due to having spent 15 months in the NICU with her own son, who was born prematurely weighing only 1lb 2oz. The journey with her son led her to this job, where she gets to share valuable first-hand experiences with families each day.

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Angela Meyer, MA

Family Support Coordinator Eskenazi NICU

Angela is the NICU Nest family support coordinator in the NICU at Eskenazi Health. She enjoys helping parents feel heard and cared for, celebrating special moments through photography, and partnering with all members of the care team to support patient and family centered care. Angela is a certified Mind-Body Medicine practitioner (CMBM), bilingual (Spanish), and is a passionate advocate for bonding, positive family experiences, and parent-provider partnership. She serves on several interdisciplinary initiatives, including the NICU Developmental Care Committee and Eskenazi Health Diversity & Inclusion Council. Angela has personal experience with high risk pregnancy, bereavement and NICU that guide her compassion and care for the families she’s honored to work with.

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Brandi Brizendine

Family Support Coordinator Riley Maternity Tower