4 from Elliot earn distinction as NH’s first certified Neonatal Touch and Massage therapists

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From left, Kristen Hunt, PT, DPT, NTMTC, Kaitlyn Tilton, MS, OTR/L, NTMTC, Shari DeYoung, BS, PT, NTMTC,
NIDCAP, NOMAS, and Mariah Derby, MS, OTR/L, NTMTC. Courtesy photo

MANCHESTER, NH –  Elliot Hospital Neonatal Therapists Kristen Hunt, Mariah Derby, Kaitlyn Tilton, and Shari DeYoung have earned the distinction of being the only four in New Hampshire and four of only 800 neonatal professionals in the country having successfully completed Neonatal Touch & Massage Certification.

Neonatal Touch & Massage Certification (NTMC) is an exclusive one-of-a-kind certification for neonatal healthcare providers. It includes current literature through 15 hours of online education and two days of hands-on training. NTMC is clinically applicable for daily caregiving in the Neonatal Intensive care Unit (NICU) and enhances skill development in handling, positioning, skin-to-skin, infant massage, swaddled bathing and advanced practice techniques such as myofascial trigger point releases. NTMC maximizes the long-term developmental outcomes of the infants in the NICU and ensures parent involvement and bonding.

Kristen Hunt treating an Elliot NICU baby.

“As the only provider of Newborn Intensive Care services in the greater Manchester area, we are proud of our therapists for advancing and enhancing their skills to better serve our most fragile patients in the NICU, “ said Greg Baxter, MD, Chief Medical Officer. “We want to acknowledge Kristen, Mariah, Kaitlyn, and Shari as experts in this area of neonatal care having earned their professional credentials of NTMTC (Neonatal Touch & Massage Therapist Certified) and becoming part of an exclusive group of neonatal caregivers,” Baxter added.

“There have been many studies illustrating the benefits of neonatal massage and how it can increase weight gain, state quality, neurological development and gastrointestinal function in premature infants,” said Hunt. “Massage helps improve bonding for infants and parents while optimizing the infants’ development.”

Shari DeYoung added, “Best of all, we are thrilled to be able to offer additional expertise in our Elliot NICU in an effort to provide best practices and promotion of family centered care.”


About Elliot Health System

Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving the healthcare needs of the community since 1890. The largest provider of comprehensive healthcare services in Southern New Hampshire, Elliot Hospital, a 296-bed acute care facility and the first community hospital in the state, serves as the cornerstone of the health system.  Elliot is home to Manchester’s designated Regional Trauma Center, Elliot Breast Health Center, Elliot Urgent Care, a Level 3 Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Elliot Physician Network, Elliot Regional Cancer Center, Elliot Senior Health Center, Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire, Elliot Health System / Dartmouth – Hitchcock 1-Day Surgery Center, Elliot Memory Center, NH Arthritis Center, Elliot Retail Pharmacy, Elliot Medical Centers in Londonderry and Hooksett, and The Elliot at River’s Edge. For more information about any of Elliot’s services visit www.elliothospital.org.