The Birthing Center at Saint Joseph London opened in 2010 to better meet women’s health needs in the medically-underserved southeastern region of Kentucky. Saint Joseph is the only hospital in London with a Birthing Center offering labor and delivery. Although we provide exceptional services in the Women’s Center, we currently are unable to meet the growing needs of infants born at Saint Joseph London who need the specialized care of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
In 2017, Saint Joseph London delivered 1,203 babies. If a NICU had been available, approximately 69 of the 86 infants transferred to Lexington could have been cared for in London. This means that 80% of our infants requiring extra care could have stayed close to home, close to their parents and loved ones during the early days of their life when bonding and physical contact is so vitally important.
The 90-minute drive to Lexington creates a substantial financial burden for many of our families who want and need to stay near their children during this difficult time. For many parents, the distance and cost of travel prove to be insurmountable and forces them to be apart from their critically ill children.
Establishing the NICU at Saint Joseph London will provide much needed intensive care services to infants in an underserved Appalachian area and will allow the parents of these fragile infants to stay by their side as they receive specialized treatment in their local hospital. When added, our Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will be one of only two hospitals in the entire southeastern region of Kentucky with a Birthing Center and a NICU.
The NICU at Saint Joseph London will be a leader in this region for neonatal intensive care services. Board-certified neonatologists and nurse practitioners will be available 24 hours a day.
Our supportive team of health care professionals understands the fears and anxieties parents face when their baby needs intensive care.
With the opening of the NICU, our team will be able to provide highly specialized care to infants who are affected by premature birth (pre-36-week delivery), neonatal abstinence syndrome, fetal anomaly, and/or respiratory disease. Our clinical care teams, using advanced technology and expertise from multiple specialties, will care for premature and seriously ill newborns around the clock.
Families are also at the heart of the NICU. We will provide a family-centered environment with flexible visiting hours, promote bonding through skin-to-skin care and empower families to participate in their baby’s care.
The Saint Joseph London Foundation is leading a fundraising initiative to create a NICU in our Birthing Center. Monies raised will enable us to provide for renovated space and the essential equipment that will improve our patient outcomes and most importantly, save lives.
The expansion and renovation of the Birthing Center will include a designated neonatal intensive care unit with four critical care bays and two additional private NICU rooms to create a private family-centered care approach to maximize care.
The cost of construction at $1.1 million and specialized equipment needs of nearly $275,000 bring the total cost of the project to nearly $1.4 million.
You have the power to make a difference in the life of an infant. Please join us for this important fundraising initiative to support the tiniest patients in our community. For more information, contact Leslie Smart, CFRE by calling 859.313.1705.