Now that Akron Children’s has been handed the keys for its new neonatal intensive care unit at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, all of the hard work from the past 18 months will be put into practice.
Led by a steering committee comprising departments across Akron Children’s and St. Elizabeth, much planning and preparation has gone into moving this unit from its current location at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown to St. Elizabeth Boardman.
The unit will officially open April 7, and until that time, staff will practice simulations, test patient flow and organize the rooms.
Under the leadership of Mary Ellen “Mer” Michael, nurse manager and project manager for the move, the NICU staff created subcommittees to make sure the space works best for patient families and employees.
The groups addressed everything from patient experience to room set-up and supplies.
Features of the new NICU
The new NICU will have double the space of the current one. Other highlights include:
- 23 individual rooms so parents can stay with their babies
- 4 adjoining rooms that can be opened to accommodate multiples
- 2 larger rooms that can accommodate twins
- A family center featuring 2 suites with a double bed and full bath for the parents of babies who require a long-term stay, as well as a comfortable waiting area, TV, lockers, shower, and child-sized furniture, games and toys for siblings. The center is made possible through the generous support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mahoning Valley and Western Pa.
Other benefits include individual rooms to promote breast-milk pumping at baby’s bedside, a quieter environment, improved security with the addition of Hugs(R) electronic security tags, easy access to maternity services on the 3rd floor via a designated elevator, and faster response time for transfers from other hospitals.
In addition, Akron Children’s transport team is stationed down the street at our Beeghly campus.
Exciting things will be happening throughout the coming weeks to get ready for April 7.
Computers, appliances and furniture will be delivered and technological systems will be installed. Training will kick into high gear with simulations, safety sessions, and technology orientation being offered throughout the month.
To celebrate the new space, a community open house will be held on Saturday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.