1. Carey, Dana senior editorial coordinator

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A judges' choice winner in AJN 's photojournalism contest, The Faces of Caring: Nurses at Work, Karen Pulfer Focht's photograph Clinging to Life was taken as part of a series on the crisis of infant mortality in Memphis, Tennessee, for the Commercial Appeal in March. (See; registration is free.) In this photograph, Focht sought to capture the urgency with which nurses in the neonatal ICU (NICU) work. Pictured from left to right are nurses Andrea Sawyer, Bobby Bellflower, and Pam Maneclang at the Newborn Center of the Regional Medical Center in Memphis. The nurses responded quickly when the infant stopped breathing, and resuscitation was successful.


The series in the Commercial Appeal explored the fact that Memphis has an infant mortality rate twice the national average and the highest rate among the nation's 60 largest cities. Two North Memphis neighborhoods are "deadlier for babies than Vietnam, El Salvador, and Iran," wrote reporter Aimee Edmondson on March 6. "Infant mortality is the barometer of a community's ills: poverty; pollution; crime; and a lack of education, access to health care, and safe, affordable housing."


Focht, who worked on the project for a year and a half, shot Clinging to Life in July 2004, and she says that her work on this series had a profound effect on her. "I lost a lot of sleep while shooting," she says. "You hate to see something so defenseless fight for life."


For more on prematurity, see "Help Put NICU Nurses Out of Business," page 11, and "The Cost of Prematurity: Hospital Charges at Birth and Frequency of Rehospitalizations and Acute Care Visits over the First Year of Life," page 56.

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