Assemblyman’s Program Aids NorthBay Parents

Chatting with Women’s and Children’s Services Clinical Manager Katie Lydon, R.N., Assemblymember Jim Frazier peeks in on a newborn in NorthBay Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on a recent visit.

When freshman Assemblymember Jim Frazier stopped by NorthBay Medical Center for a tour in March, it wasn’t his first encounter with the Fairfield hospital.

In fact, a nonprofit foundation he and his wife, Janet, established after the death of their daughter Stephanie in 2000 has been serving the families and loved ones of NorthBay’s youngest and most fragile patients for three years.

It all started when the Fraziers’ two daughters, Stephanie and Lindsay, were involved in a car crash. Their parents rushed to the hospital to be by their sides. They hadn’t thought to bring food, money or a change of clothes, but a kind nurse shared her lunch.

Jim and his wife Janet have established a lunch program for parents who find themselves spending hours and hours in the NICU and the Emergency Department with a loved one.

That resonated with the couple, who started a foundation in memory of Stephanie who died from her injuries. Lindsay was gravely injured but recovered and is now actively involved with the foundation, which delivers meals to families and parents whose newborns are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Recently, they started delivering meals to parents with children in trauma care.

The foundation delivers meals to family members in 55 hospitals in California and Colorado. And on March 4, Jim got a chance to visit NorthBay’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and meet some of the nurses and doctors who work there. He also toured NorthBay’s cardiac surgery suite where open-heart surgery is performed, and our Emergency Department and Trauma Center, which also resonated with him.

The accident that took his daughter’s life actually gave birth to Jim’s political career. Grief-stricken, the family learned that there had been 143 accidents and many fatalities on that stretch of Highway 50. Jim’s family succeeded in convincing Caltrans to widen the median and install a new pavement to prevent black ice on that part of the highway. This unfortunate tragedy sparked his interest in highway safety and transit problems and eventually led to his political career.

Jim, a small-business owner, was elected in November, 2012 to serve in the State Assembly representing the 11th Assembly District. He opened a district office in Fairfield March 14, the first time an assembly district office has been in Fairfield since Retired Assemblyman Tom Hannigan left office in 1995.

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