Friday, March 30, 2012

Fauquier Health Plans Neonatal Intensive Care Unit



Fauquier Hospital's Family Birthing Center has been making plans to add a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for several years, and the state Certificate of Need process is underway. The unit would include four nursery beds and would be able to care for some premature or ill babies. Right now, if a child is born too early or under a certain weight, he or she is sent to another hospital for special care. The next appropriate NICU is 70 miles away.

Fauquier Hospital hopes to get the go-ahead from the state to add the NICU by August, and the unit could be in place by the end of the year.

Ellen Bejger, director of the Family Birthing Center: “Most exciting to me is the fact that we are going to be able to offer a higher level of care here in Fauquier County; it will allow us to keep families together near their homes, where their support system is strongest. Families should not have to drive an hour or more to have access to this level of care.”


Here's a story about it, which appeared in the Fauquier Times-Democrat on Wednesday, March 28.


Funding

The local community has been extremely supportive of the new NICU. In the past 18 months, local philanthropy has provided funding for rapid expansion of our skilled nursing staff and most of the non-pulmonary equipment needed. In December, we received a pledge of $100,000 for a central monitoring system and other equipment. A 2010 local grant allowed Fauquier Hospital to quadruple our staff of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and provide round-the-clock care.

Within the last week, Fauquier Hospital learned it had been awarded a prestigious Will Rogers Institute grant. The $48,000 awarded will pay for two Hamilton Arabella nasal Constant Positive Airway Pressure machines, or CPAPs ($24,000 each). The system provides safe, effective delivery of NCPAP (Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to infants, including those with very low birth weight.

The total dollar amount donated to the NICU in the last 12 months has been $335,000.





-- $200,000 grant to recruit and train neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs)

-- $100,000 grant for new technology, including central monitoring system

-- $30,000 grant for general NICU support, used to purchase equipment and furnishings, including sleep chairs for nursing mothers

-- $5,000 small individual gifts, including donations from staff and grateful patients, for general NICU support.

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