Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's new Kim and Steven Ullman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened in June 2012. The completion of the $6 million state-of-the-art facility is an important part of the hospital's expansion and vision to create the ideal patient-centered healthcare environment for Santa Clarita Valley’s tiniest patients.
After a year’s construction, the new 4,369-square-foot NICU has the capacity and technology to treat the community’s tiniest patients. The 11-bed NICU is staffed by a specialized, multidisciplinary team of health care professionals and will provide around-the-clock individualized care and monitoring for newborn babies requiring specialized care.
“Great thought and research went into the NICU design to ensure a warm, nurturing environment that will meet the needs of our tiniest patients,” said Sally McGann, RNC, MSN, Director of Women’s Services. “With a NICU, parents can have peace of mind that we can provide the care their newborns need to thrive. Babies will be able to stay close to home and family. From special lighting to noise level controls, we’ve taken every aspect of care into careful consideration for babies’ sensitivities.”
Henry Mayo’s NICU is equipped and staffed by a full range of highly specialized neonatal care experts, equipment and materials to ensure the best care for babies. A neonatologist in collaboration with the family pediatrician oversees care, and nurses with advanced training in neonatal nursing provide high quality nursing care. Neonatal respiratory care specialists, nutritionists, social workers, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, all provide support for the newborns and their parents.
Neonatologist Sukshma Sreepathi, MD, board certified in pediatrics and neonatal medicine, serves as Medical Director of the NICU. Nurses with advanced training in neonatal care will provide continual monitoring, while nurses, neonatal respiratory care specialists, nutritionists, social workers, pharmacists, and physical and occupational therapists provide support for the newborns and their parents.
With more than 400 years of combined experience, Henry Mayo’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff is comprised of several clinical coordinators, 25 nurses and neonatal respiratory therapists who are dedicated 24/7 to the NICU.
NICU nurses have been trained on more than 22 pieces of high-tech equipment specifically designed for the care of newborns. The cool-cap system, for example, is the only FDA-approved treatment designed for infants who meet specific criteria to monitor their body temperature, according to Sharon McMahon, NICU Clinical Coordinator.
Another special feature about Henry Mayo’s NICU is that the family-centered rooms are private, with monitors allowing for constant observation and observation from the nursing station, and the capacity to allow family members to visit anytime. Also part of the unit, is an isolation room, with negative pressure capabilities, and a semi-private room which can be used for twins or for the monitoring of a critically ill newborn.
“The quality of care will be top notch,” McMahon said. “I live in this community and I’m very excited to be a part this. “Offering these services to the community, allows us to keep families together here in the Santa Clarita Valley.”