Brookings Rotary Provides “The Brain Game” for Babies Born at Brookings Hospital in 2019

Brookings, S.D. – Jan. 28, 2019 – Thanks to a grant from the Brookings Rotary Club to Brookings Health System Foundation, each baby born in 2019 at Brookings Hospital will receive the booklet, “The Brain Game: Fun Ways to Help Your Baby’s Mind Grow.”

The booklet was developed by pediatricians, neonatologists and child development specialists as a how-to guide for parents raising children from birth to three years of age.

“Babies are born ready to learn,” said Obstetrics Director Mary Schwaegerl. “According to the CDC, brain development depends on proper nutrition starting during a mother’s pregnancy; exposure to toxins and infections; and the experiences a child has with other people and the world. ‘The Brain Game’ from the Brookings Rotary will help parents create experiences and an environment that stimulates brain development and growth for their baby.”

Originally developed by the La Crosse Rotary Club of Wisconsin, today the booklet is made available to and adopted by many other Rotary Clubs in the U.S. for health education projects in their community. The idea for implementing this project in Brookings came from Marcia and Larry Janssen while visiting the Lacrosse Rotary Friendship Booth at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta.

“With encouragement received from incoming club president, Reva Johnson, and several other members, we wrote a grant proposal to help fund this Brookings Rotary Club project in partnership with Brookings Health System,” said Larry Janssen.

Parents of newborns at Brookings Hospital started receiving the booklets as of Jan. 1.

Brookings Hospital’s OB unit, New Beginnings Birth Center, has eight beds with five labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum (LDRP) suites. The unit provides full OB services to expectant parents and enables area residents to deliver their baby close to home with a local physician. To learn more about New Beginnings Birth Center, please visit

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