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WakeMed’s NICU Expands to Offer 27 Private Rooms for Tiniest Patients

This week, WakeMed opened its newly expanded Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

By adding 12 new patient beds, the expansion brings the total number of NICU beds to 48.  It also marks the introduction of “single-room care,” with 27 private rooms opening for babies and their families. 

Single-room care in the NICU represents an extension of WakeMed’s focus on patient- & family-centered care.  This format also allows families to spend almost unlimited time with their babies and creates more privacy for a mother to bond, breastfeed and care for her infant(s).

“Not only is the concept of care different, but the environment and approach is changing too,” said Tom Young, MD, (WakeMed Neonatology). “Improving the environment for families to spend quality time with their babies is very important, and the single-room care concept allows us to do that.”

The only one of its kind in Wake County, WakeMed’s NICU is already accustomed to operating at a high level of excellence.  The unit’s team of experienced nurses, physicians and pediatric specialists treats more than 600 premature infants and critically ill babies each year. 

In 2012, the WakeMed NICU was the proud recipient of the PRC Crystal Award – it had the highest patient satisfaction score out of 29 NICUs surveyed across the country.  The unit was also officially certified by the international Newborn Individualized Development Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP), only the fourth NICU in the world to receive this honor.  NIDCAP certification recognizes the excellent level of care the unit provides its infants and their families, as well as the exceptional level of care that is upheld for nursery staff.

The expansion of the WakeMed NICU was part of the WakeMed Foundation’s Just For Kids Kampaign, a $20 million fundraising effort. 

Learn more about the WakeMed NICU and view recent media coverage about the unit’s opening, includng this adorable video by News & Observer photographer Corey LowensteinWRAL’s Go Ask Mom blog & watch for more in the News & Observer’s Sunday edition.