THE BRONX - More than 500 family members of surviving premature babies were reunited with the Montefiore Medical Center doctors and nurses who helped give them life Sunday.

The festivities included face painting, food, prizes and giveaways. Montefiore staff members credit their success with critically ill newborns to the families as well as advanced science.

"It's a tribute to technology ? tribute to the resiliency of families and the commitment of parents," says Dr. Deborah Campbell, director of Montefiore's NICU unit.

The staff says the reunion was a success. Plans are already under way for a follow-up next year.