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Highly anticipated Neonatal ICU opens

On Feb. 27, the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Neonatal ICU officially opened, unveiling a newly renovated space for our tiniest, most vulnerable patients and their families. Phase one, which focused on creating four patient care areas known as “neighborhoods,” was completed in November 2016, and construction on phase two immediately followed.

The newest addition to the unit is a 1,000 sq. ft. space featuring a large family and visitor waiting area, sibling play space and family support room. Equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, comfortable seating and lockers for belongings, this area was built to support families’ physical and emotional needs. It provides resources to help them relax away from the bedside, but close to their infants. Guests also have access to a March of Dimes trained family support member who staffs the area to aid them during their time in the unit.

The sibling play space is monitored by trained volunteers, who help parents find relief when caring for multiple children at once. While parents are tending to their NICU baby, siblings can participate in 90 minutes of supervised play in the area, which is filled with toys.

The visitor space is staffed daily between 7 a.m.-11 p.m., and secured but accessible for families after hours.

Click through the gallery below to see photos of the new spaces.

For more information regarding other construction and renovation projects, visit UF Health Blueprints for progress at http://blueprints.ufhealth.org/.