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Neonatal intensive care expansion complete

Monday, June 06, 2005

Growth offers additional beds and staff, plus more family amenities

Aurora BayCare Medical Center has completed the expansion of its neonatal intensive care unit, more than doubling patient capacity and adding extra space for the family members of newborns.

The hospital also has added two more neonatal nurse practitioners.

The new NICU has 18 ICU beds along with two isolation rooms that together can accommodate up to four newborns. Six additional special care nursery beds also will be available when needed, giving the unit a capacity of at least 28. The original 12-bed unit opened in 2003.

“We’ve just been busy beyond our expectations,” said Frank Mattia, M.D., medical director of the NICU. “We’ve come far in just two years, and our outcome statistics indicate how well the babies are doing.”

Other additions to the unit include specially designated areas for family members of newborns. There is a separate breastfeeding room as well as a break room for parents.

A special overnight room is now available to the parents of an infant with special needs, allowing them to learn how to take care of the baby on their own just before going home. With nurses and other medical personnel nearby, the overnight room is designed to ease the anxiety of taking the newborn home for the first time after a long stay in intensive care.

“It will give parents confidence that they can provide the care a child needs, but with a safety net nearby as they gain that confidence,” Dr. Mattia said. “Then the next night when they’re home, they’re not caring for the baby for the first time.”

The expansion also has resulted in the addition of two master’s-prepared neonatal nurse practitioners. Susan McDevitt and Duane Otten have joined neonatal nurse practitioner Mary Fleming-Hill and four board-certified neonatologists: Dr. Mattia, Toby Cohen, M.D., Roderick Krueger, M.D., and Rose Cipres-Jaucian, M.D., a Children’s Specialty Group physician based at Aurora BayCare. Children’s Specialty Group, which formed a partnership with Aurora in April 2004, is a joint venture of Children’s Hospital and Health System and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The NICU staff provides around-the-clock care for low-birthweight babies, babies born prematurely, other critical care newborns and any infant with special needs. As a Level 3 facility, Aurora BayCare’s NICU can accept premature babies of any gestational age.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is a 126-bed, full-service tertiary care hospital located at 2845 Greenbrier Road on Green Bay’s east side. It opened in September 2001 as a joint effort of Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

BayCare Clinic is northeast Wisconsin’s largest physician-owned specialty clinic comprising nearly 100 physicians, surgeons and specialty providers representing 20 medical specialties.

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Contact:  Mike Spofford (920-445-2165)

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