Halifax Health has embarked on a $1-million construction project that will expand its Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) from nine to 14 beds.
“As the area’s first and only Level II NICU for premature babies and babies who become ill after birth, we have seen the need to increase the number of beds available for quite some time. Now, even more newborn babies who require intensive care can stay close to home, giving parents a better opportunity to be present and bond with their babies without the stress of having to travel to hospitals outside of Volusia and Flagler counties,” explains Catherine Luchsinger, chief nursing officer for Halifax Health.
When the expansion project is complete, five additional beds will be added to Halifax Health’s Level II NICU, for a total of 14 beds. In addition, there will be a complete renovation and upgrade of the Level II NICU and its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to enhance the environment, comfort and care of babies and their families.
Halifax Health operates Volusia and Flagler counties’ only 24-hour Level II NICU. Located in the Center for Women and Infant Health at Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach, the NICU provides unique services for approximately 200 newborns each year who require intensive care due to prematurity or illness diagnosed around the time of delivery. The NICU is staffed by board-certified neonatologists and nurses who specialize in neonatal care.
The current nine-bed unit opened in April 1975. In 1977, Dr. YB Au Yeung joined the staff as the first full-time neonatologist. As a result, the neonatal mortality rate in the area dropped from 21 to 12 per 1,000 births. Through a partnership with the University of Florida College of Medicine at Jacksonville, neonatologists Peter G. Taves, M.D., and Lukas Tan, M.D., currently staff the nine-bed NICU, providing around-the-clock, on-site neonatal care and facility direction.
Recently recognized for the second consecutive year by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, Halifax Health serves East Central Florida providing a continuum of healthcare services through a network of organizations including a tertiary hospital, community hospital, psychiatric services, a cancer treatment center with four outreach locations, the area’s largest hospice, a center for inpatient rehabilitation, two primary care walk-in clinics, a walk-in clinic specializing in women’s health, two community clinics, three children’s medical practices, a home healthcare agency; and a preferred provider organization. Halifax Health offers the area’s only Level II Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Pediatric Emergency Department, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Services, complete Neurosurgical Services and OB Emergency Department. For more information, visit halifaxhealth.org.