The Cedar Park Regional Medical Center unveiled its new eight-bed, Level II neonatal intensive care unit during an April 20 grand opening ceremony.
The advanced unit will help the hospital treat high-risk medical matters that previously required newborn children to be transferred for proper care, Director of Women’s Services Charisse Leach said.
“Now we’ll be able to keep many more families together,” Leach said. “Before, mothers were hesitant because they didn’t want to risk being separated.”
The $3.5 million, nearly 8,000-square-foot expansion is on the hospital’s third floor. The renovations included new equipment, two additional labor delivery recovery rooms and and an obstetrical triage room in addition to the NICU.
Leach was also responsible for staffing the new unit. Hospital CEO Tim Adams said she hit the ground running from day one.
“Charisse has done a fantastic job of hiring top staff,” Adams said. “Not often we finish under budget and ahead of time, but we did both here.”
When the hospital first opened, there were only one to two babies delivered each month, according to CPRMC physician Anthony Monteiro. Now, 75 to 80 babies are delivered each month, he said, and at least 100 deliveries are expected per month as a result of expansion.
Director of Neonatal Services Simon Michael said between 10 percent to 15 percent of babies are born prematurely. Because of the expanded services, parents who deliver at the Cedar Park hospital will no longer risk being separated from their newborn child.
“The hospital is to be commended for sparing no expense—almost no expense,” he said.