LONDON, Ky. (May 22, 2023) – Southeastern Kentucky families in need of critical care for their premature babies and those with other special needs now have access to a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as Saint Joseph London blessed and opened its new $1.8 million Neonatal Specialty Care Nursery on Monday, May 22.
The newly renovated 4,630-square-foot space is located next to the existing Labor and Delivery area at Saint Joseph London and adds critical care bays and private rooms for family-centered care and recovery. This expansion will provide access to specialty care to more than 100 babies who otherwise would have to be sent more than an hour away to Lexington to access Level II NICU services.
Saint Joseph London has long been the leading provider of obstetrical care in southeastern Kentucky,” said John Yanes, president, Saint Joseph London. “This new specialty care nursery will not only allow families in need to eliminate the long drive to visit their baby, who could need weeks or months of specialized care, but it will also help them avoid the substantial financial burden associated with the cost of travel. This unit at Saint Joseph London will be a leader in southeastern Kentucky for neonatal specialty care services.”
Each year, around 1,200 babies are born at Saint Joseph London. With the most up-to-date equipment, the hospital can now provide specialized care for those born prematurely or with conditions that require extra care.
The specialty nursery will feature the latest technology, including GE incubators and warmers to help infants who cannot maintain their body temperature on their own, ventilators, SiPap systems to help babies breathe with less effort, and GE Carescape monitors to measure the heart rate of neonatal and pediatric patients.
“We know that access to high-level care close to home is critical to the healing process,” said Anthony Houston, Ed.D., FACHE, CEO, CHI Saint Joseph Health. “Providing this vital level of care to the residents of Laurel County and surrounding communities is consistent with one of our top priorities to enhance access to care close to home.”
The project was made possible in part by a nearly $1 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, $327,000 in grants from the WHAS Crusade for Children, and additional funding from the Saint Joseph London Foundation and community members.
“We are proud to be part of this wonderful addition that will help improve access to care for vulnerable infants in the area,” said Dawn Lee, president and chief executive officer, WHAS Crusade for Children. “Families in southeastern Kentucky deserve state-of-the-art equipment and technology for their infants, ensuring the best care possible, and now that is a reality here in London.”
State and local leaders were on hand for the opening of the Neonatal Specialty Care Nursery, including state Senator Brandon Storm, who happens to be a preemie dad; Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Governor Andy Beshear; and Robbin Taylor, state director for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The project was announced in 2020 and faced multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction on the new Neonatal Specialty Care Nursery began in the fall of 2022.
Click here to download images from today’s event.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About Saint Joseph London
Saint Joseph London is a 150-bed full-service hospital located in London, Kentucky. Established in 1926, the facility serves patients from southeastern Kentucky, including those from Clay, Laurel, Jackson, Whitley, Knox and Pulaski counties. The current $152 million regional hospital opened in 2010, and offers all private patient rooms, with most overlooking a small lake and garden on the 52-acre healing environment.