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University of Iowa News Release

 

July 26, 2007

UI Children's Hospital Opens New Neonatal Care Unit

University of Iowa Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network leaders and staff, along with associates from regional Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores, recently celebrated the opening of a new Neonatal Care Unit for the children's hospital.

The renovated 15-room facility, which opened July 25, is located on the seventh floor of the Roy Carver Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics. It will treat premature or low birth-weight babies who are not as critically ill as newborns treated in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With the addition of the Neonatal Care Unit, UI Children's Hospital now has 70 total beds for neonatal care. Patients and families will begin using the new unit July 31.

Wal-Mart and Sam's Club employees from Iowa and surrounding states raised $1.1 million through Children's Miracle Network to support the unit. The funds went toward construction costs, as well as monitoring and other equipment used to treat premature infants.

"This new unit serves an important function in that it provides much needed additional space," said Jonathan Klein, M.D., UI associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the NICU. "Over the past year, our NICU has been functioning at nearly 100 percent capacity, which reflects the sustained increase in NICU admissions we have seen over the past several years.

"The Neonatal Care Unit now provides space for babies who are not as high risk or almost ready to go home, but who would still benefit from specialized neonatal care. It's a great facility and ensures that we will continue to provide the very best care for these babies and their families."

Construction on the Neonatal Care Unit began earlier this year, and features individual rooms for babies who are transitioning from earlier acute care in the NICU. Each room has bathroom and sleeping accommodations that allow parents to stay with their infant around the clock. Parents also can use the new facilities to learn home oxygen therapy, apnea monitor training, and other skills that may be required after their baby goes home.

Lisa Baum, director of Children's Miracle Network, praised the efforts of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club associates in supporting the Neonatal Care Unit.

"We are tremendously grateful to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club and their employees in making a difference for our patients and their families," Baum said. "Their past and continued support has allowed our pediatric physicians, nurses and staff to provide the most advanced care for children in the region. World-class care requires world-class facilities, and this new unit is a reflection of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club associates' commitment to both."

UI Children's Hospital serves children and their families at its main campus in Iowa City and satellite clinics in communities throughout Iowa. A 165-bed "hospital within a hospital," UI Children's Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics. Child magazine ranks UI Children's Hospital among the top 20 children's hospitals in the nation.

Children's Miracle Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research, and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more, visit http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org/.

Wal-Mart and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfacts.com, http://www.walmartstores.com or http://www.walmartfoundation.org.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

PROGRAM CONTACT: Lisa Baum, Children's Miracle Network, 319-335-8484; Morgan Rohrbach, Children's Miracle Network, 319-384-4135

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032, david-pedersen@uiowa.edu