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Hospital Unveils New $19 Million Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

DAYTON, OHIO (May 1, 2009) — On Saturday, May 2, Miami Valley Hospital will unveil its new $19 million Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). A community ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m. with tours of the unit to follow until 3:30 p.m.

Created with baby and family comfort and staff convenience in mind, the new 51,000 square-foot Level III NICU embraces a unique layout concept that places it at the forefront of innovative hospital design in the Dayton region.

The new NICU, which is located on two floors of the Berry Women’s Health Pavilion, is more than double the size of its predecessor. The unit fosters family-centered care through its 60 private rooms.

“Many of our babies remain in the NICU for weeks at a time,” said Julie Scanlan, RN, NICU nurse manager. “We set out to create an environment that would provide comfort and privacy not only to babies and families but also for our physicians and staff members.”

These rooms replace a NICU where babies had been clustered together in an open environment.

In the new NICU each of the patient rooms is designed to protect tiny babies from outside stimuli to encourage development by incorporating sound-absorbent ceilings and floor tiles, dimming lighting systems and sliding glass doors.

Quiet family areas with overnight accommodations for parents are also incorporated into the unit’s design.

For all of its beautiful aesthetics, the design has not compromised the up-to-the-minute technology and specialized care that has given the unit its Level III designation.

Examples of technology include staff being equipped with a hands free communication system that is connected to babies’ heart monitors and ventilators.  This equipment keeps nurses updated on the baby’s condition at all times and allows instant communication between staff members.

Other technology includes special incubators that provide monitored heat and humidity, in-bed scales and mattresses that rotate 360 degrees so that the baby does not have to be removed for treatment. Rooms are also equipped with specially designed rocker/recliners known as Kangaroo chairs, allowing family members to cradle babies closely.  The chairs were purchased with a $25,000 gift from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley Region.

Miami Valley is the only hospital in the area with an in-house Level III nursery steps away from labor and delivery. Mothers and babies can be near each other at any time.

“Miami Valley Hospital has always had a strong commitment to maternal and neonatal services. Our distinguished reputation for caring for high-risk pregnancies is known throughout the region,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Miami Valley Hospital. “Our status of a Level III NICU, meaning we care for the most critically ill and fragile newborns, dates back to 1976.  The new NICU supports our belief in patient privacy and utilizing the best technology to treat our smallest patients.”

Construction and renovation of the new NICU began in the spring of 2007.  The design architect selected for the project was NBBJ.  Dayton based Pinnacle Architects acted as the architect of record.