Inside the newest wing of BWH’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Emily Chang began to decorate her son Bennett’s space so it felt more like home. She taped a small poster on the wall above his crib that included photos of Bennett over the course of his almost 90-day stay in the NICU.
Chang said moving into the new NICU on April 11 felt like a “breath of fresh air.” She thanked her son’s care team for all they’ve done to care for Bennett and for making his transition a smooth one.
“Our care team in the NICU has treated Bennett like he’s one of their own children,” Chang said. “The care Bennett has received at the Brigham has been top-notch. This hospital is very invested in ensuring patients get the best care possible.”
Bennett was among the 19 infants and their families who moved into the newly expanded NICU as their beds were relocated during the second phase of the unit’s transformation earlier this month.
The NICU is being renovated and expanded in three phases to provide state-of-the-art care for premature and sick infants who are admitted to BWH. The project began in July and is expected to conclude in December.
During the second phase, two areas were expanded. Nine beds in the intensive care unit (ICU) opened, as well as 13 beds in the Growth and Development Unit (GDU), with one being an overnight room for parents. The design of the Brigham’s NICU is suited to babies’ changing developmental needs as they grow; the GDU provides the most therapeutic environment for infants who are beyond the acute medical stage.
Construction for the project’s final phase began this month; it will result in seven more GDU beds and 10 additional ICU beds.
During last week’s move, babies were transported one at a time, with teams of staffers guiding each crib or isolette to the new unit, located across the hall on the sixth floor of the Connors Center for Women and Newborns.
Carmina Erdei, MD, medical director of the GDU and a neonatologist in the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine, commended the multidisciplinary team involved in ensuring a smooth and efficient move-in day.
“The families and the staff were overjoyed, as this wonderful, new space offers rich opportunities for family-centered developmental care,” Erdei said. “The new GDU will help staff provide the best care not only to infants, but also to their families.”