By Maggie Gill, Memorial Health President and CEO
November 16, 2016
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. This is especially important to all of us at Memorial Health because we are the home of the region’s only Level III neonatal intensive care nursery. To maintain the Level III designation, we must provide the most advanced services, have neonatal doctors available around the clock, and be able to care for the most critically ill babies.
When our neonatal intensive care nursery first opened in 1976, it had four beds. Today, it has 56 beds and high-tech Isolettes to care for babies from 24 surrounding counties. We also have a neonatal transport team that uses a specially outfitted ambulance to transport babies to Memorial from outlying counties. Our neonatal transport team safely transports about 350 babies to our neonatal intensive care nursery every year, and the nursery provides care for 850 babies.
The physicians, nurses, and therapists who care for premature newborns must practice a delicate balancing act every day. They perform leading-edge medical procedures on fragile babies who weigh as little as 1 pound. In fact, the smallest baby ever cared for at Memorial Health weighed just 20 ounces.
During Prematurity Awareness Month and every month, we support the neonatal intensive care nursery at Memorial Health. We’re proud to give preemies throughout the region a fighting chance.
Learn more about the history of our neonatal intensive care nursery from one of its founding physicians, Roberta Smith, M.D.