The Blast July 2023 Issue No. 11


Hello Better BedRest Family!

We hope you all are having a great summer. BBR has been continuing to distribute our Maternal Emergency Grants to our Maryland callers. We also have referred many in-state as well as out of state callers to the Colette Louise Foundation who have helped many in challenging times.

To date, this foundation has helped 1888 families in 48 states with 6811 served, totaling over $1,342,800.

BBR continues to do community outreach projects. This year for our Labor

Day project, we are enlisting our friends in the Forest Knolls ES Knitting

Club to make blankets! The blankets will be for the Maternal Health

Department at St. Agnes Hospital.

These knitted, crocheted and tied fleece blankets will be distributed to the

What’s Inside:            -Founder’s Corner                        Grants & Community                        Service               -Community Outreach:                         Blankets for Babies!               -Callers Voice:                              M.K.              -Spotlight on board member:                               Dr. Donna M. Neale

families in the NICU and maternity ward. We are so proud and appreciative of our partnership with the knitting club!

Wishing you all a wonderful summer! Please stay safe out there while having fun!


Joanie Reisfeld, Founder


The Forest Knolls Knitting Club has been working in conjunction with BBR for over ten years.  They have provided handmade blankets for NICU and general maternity wards at area hospitals as well as creating goodie bags for women’s health care workers during the pandemic.

The knitting club has been in existence for over twenty years and continues to engage in many community, national and international endeavors to help those in need. 

The club began when a group of teachers at Forest Knolls Elementary in Silver Spring, MD found that knitting or crocheting was a great way to relax at lunchtime.  It blossomed into a multitude of service projects ranging from making blankets for babies at local hospitals, dog sweaters for Rescue Well in Baltimore, MD,  goodie bags for U.S. armed forces, 100 pairs of mittens for Afghan refugee children in Atlanta, GA, and The Mother Bear Project, just to name a few.  

The pandemic did not deter the knitting club.  Though many have retired and moved away from Maryland, they still meet twice a month on Zoom due to the expertise and kindness of one of their founding members, Ann Moy — and their mission continues. 

BBR is pleased to partner with the knitting club and, of course, to call them our friends.

(BBR’s founder, Joanie Reisfeld, and board member, Barbara Banks, taught at Forest Knolls ES until their retirement.)


Better Bedrest supported me for 6 months of my very difficult pregnancy. They not only emotionally helped me navigate during such a trying time but also financially assisted in paying my rent which helped me and my children from being evicted from our home. I will always be grateful for their support. M.K.


Dr. Donna Neale is the Obstetrical Champion of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the University of Maryland Health System. The University of Maryland Health System includes 7 hospitals that provide birthing services to the women of Maryland and account for 10,000 deliveries in this state/year. It is the unequivocal intent of the University of Maryland Health System that every woman/birthing person who receives perinatal care at a UMHS facility receives the same level of quality, evidenced based care, no matter which institution they are visiting. Moreover, this care should be given in the context of equity for each individual patient. 
Dr. Neale’s first assignment is to continue development and growth of the perinatal services at the University of Maryland Capital Region, located in Prince George’s county to improve perinatal outcomes in that county, where rates of maternal morbidity and mortality are some of the highest in the state.

(Prior to her work with UMHS, Dr. Neale worked with Howard County General Hospital and has been a long term BBR board member.)

   Happy Summer!

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