North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC) announced the opening of their new Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), deepening the hospital’s ability to care for the smallest and sickest of infants born in North Central Florida. NFRMC is moving from a Level II NICU designation to a Level III---the second highest designation available for a NICU---meaning that they will be able to care for babies of any age or weight who are critically ill and require advanced equipment and services in their care. About 1 in 5 babies are born prematurely each year in the United States, and this new advancement in services at NFRMC will support premature infants not only in North Central Florida, but also in the region.

Previously, some mothers and babies would have to move to another facility to receive a higher level of care depending on the child’s circumstances. Now, NFRMC will be able to maintain continuity of care for patients in their hospital. NFRMC’s new Level III NICU is staffed by two board certified neonatologists and five advanced practice neonatal nurses with a combined 120 years of experience in the care of sick and premature infants. Qualified providers will be in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support the on-going healthcare of NICU babies. In addition, the Level III NICU has specialty-trained pharmacists, dieticians, occupational therapists and speech therapists on-site to support the healthy development of the NICU babies. NFRMC’s Maternal Fetal Medicine physicians work closely with Neonatal Services to allow for a seamless transition of care to ensure every baby’s health is strictly monitored before and after birth.

The Level III NICU is a newly renovated space, with large rooms that give parents plenty of room to be able to support their baby. The new NICU also has state-of-the-art equipment, including new isolette beds, continuous cardiorespiratory monitoring, new neonatal ventilators for patients needing respiratory support, comprehensive radiology services and breast pumps for each new mom. NFRMC also has cameras for each patient isolette, allowing parents to visit their babies from anywhere, anytime.;

“Our nursing team has been preparing for this special time by advancing their education and training to support our tiniest of patients,” said Krista Hatley, Vice President of Women’s and Children’s Services at NFRMC.  “At North Florida Regional, we care like family. We have always been known for providing exceptional family-centered care---because in a NICU, we are not only caring for the baby, but for the entire family. I am so incredibly proud of our team for everything they are doing to support our great community.”

“North Florida Regional is known throughout our community as the place where new life begins,” said C. Eric Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of NFRMC. “I’ve met so many people who’ve told me that their children were delivered at NFRMC---we’ve even hired nurses who were born right here at this hospital. We deliver over 3,400 babies a year---the most in our community--and it’s because of the compassionate and advanced care we provide to our mothers and babies. We’re excited about expanding our capabilities in care to better serve our community.”

To learn more about women’s and children’s services provided at North Florida Regional, visit NFRMC.com.