Maimonides expands its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Maimonides Medical Center has expanded its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – a designated area providing around-the-clock care to ill or premature newborn infants – by 17 beds, and will now contain 48 beds, and grow to more than 7,000 square feet.

The hospital held a ribbon cutting on Thursday, January 4 at its 4802 10th Avenue location, with a number of Maimonides brass in attendance – in addition to a very special guest, former NICU patient six-year-old Alba Lopez Guitierrez, whose father Francisco thanked doctors for the six months she was in the NICU, and said he is “very happy for his little girl.”

Former NICU patient, six-year-old Alba Lopez Guitierrez.

Alok Bhutada, chief, Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Maimonides, told the Brooklyn Eagle that the time was right to expand, and the demand was definitely there.

“It’s a better space for the babies and parents now,” Bhutada said, adding that every bed has a camera for the parents to see their babies 24/7, and it gives access to families and whoever they want across the world to see their children – “all they have to do is download an app on their phones. This is everything you would want in a world class facility.”

Alok Bhutada, chief, Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Maimonides.

Judy Bachman, executive VP and COO at Maimonides, said she is “very excited about the outcome of this – to be able to take care of our smallest patients.”

“We run the only children’s hospital in Brooklyn; we run the only pediatric trauma program; and we run the largest NICU program of its kind here, explained Ken Gibbs, president and CEO at Maimonides Medical Center, adding that “In a hospital we so often deal with tragedy and challenge – and in the NICU it’s a special mix of excitement and optimism of the future life of our children combined with an unbelievable vulnerability; and seeing the babies in the NICU and what we do for them – you’re of stone if it doesn’t move you.”

Judy Bachman, executive VP, COO at Maimonides.

Jeffrey Avner, chair, Department of Pediatrics at Maimonides Children’s Hospital, noted that the opening of this unit “speaks to the heart and soul of Maimonides and its commitment to the children and the families – not only in Brooklyn – but the entire region.”

“This is truly a work of love,” Avner said.  “And it’s that work that allows us to achieve some of the best outcomes for our children in the country.”

Maimonides is a New York State-designated Regional Perinatal Center (RPC), Level 4 NICU. The NICU is equipped to offer advanced procedures, and provides around-the-clock coverage for all high-risk deliveries and care, including a neonatologist on site 24/7.

According to Centers of Medicare and Medicaid 2022 data, Maimonides tied for number one in the nation for helping patients avoid inappropriate elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks of gestation, and for parents who deliver well before 39 weeks, the NICU serves as an invaluable resource to treat conditions such as prematurity, infections, and birth defects.

Ken Gibbs, president and CEO at Maimonides Medical Center.

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