Newswise — The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund (Morgan’s Fund) has announced the launch of its free, audio podcast series about Necrotizing Enterocolitis called Speaking of NEC: Necrotizing Enterocolitis.

Produced by The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, and funded by The Petit Family Foundation, Speaking of NEC is a series of one-on-one conversations with relevant NEC experts—neonatologists, clinicians and researchers—that highlights current prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for NEC, and the search for a cure.

Episode 1The premiere episode features Dr. Gail Besner, chief of Pediatric Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. During the episode, Dr. Besner discusses:

- The mortality and morbidity (complications associated with the disease) associated with NEC from a historical perspective - Surgical outcomes of NEC and the role length of intestine plays in those outcomes - Her serendipitous discovery, and continuous research, of a growth factor (HB-EGF) that can play a role in protecting babies from NEC - Her current research of stem cells and tissue engineered intestine in prevention and treatment of NEC - The importance, and inherent challenges, of funding research in NEC.

Episode 1 will be available to listen to, or download, on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at noon EDT at:

This episode was produced in part by the TeacherCast Educational Broadcasting Network. For more information about Speaking of NEC or The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, visit our website at

About The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, Inc.The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund (Morgan’s Fund) is an all-volunteer, public charity dedicated to Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Its mission is to promote public awareness about NEC and the potentially devastating effects it can have on preemies and their families, and to advance research to prevent, diagnose, treat, and ultimately, cure NEC. Named after Morgan, it celebrates his survival, courage and strength.

Morgan and his twin brother were born at 28 weeks, one day gestation -- nearly three months early -- each weighing less than 2.5 pounds. At four days old, Morgan developed NEC and lost approximately 20% of his small intestine. Morgan not only survived but has also thrived since his bout with NEC. This is his family’s way of paying it forward.

About The Petit Family FoundationThe Petit Family Foundation honors the memories of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayley Elizabeth Petit and Michaela Rose Petit by continuing the kindness, idealism and activism that defined their lives. The Foundation’s funds are given to foster the education of young people, especially women in the sciences; to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illnesses; and to support efforts to protect and help those affected by violence.

About Nationwide Children’s HospitalRanked 7th of only 10 children's hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll” and among the Top 10 on Parents magazine’s 2013 “Best Children’s Hospitals” list, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare networks providing care for infants, children and adolescents as well as adult patients with congenital disease. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s faculty train the next generation of pediatricians, scientists and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research facilities in the U.S., supporting basic, clinical, translational and health services research at Nationwide Children’s. The Research Institute encompasses three research facilities totaling 525,000 square feet dedicated to research. More information is available at