[caption id="attachment_211519" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] With an eye to future growth in patients, Nemours has been approved to add 16 beds to its Wilmington hospital. | PHOTO COURTESY OF NEMOURS[/caption]
WILMINGTON — Nemours Children’s Hospital received approval from the state’s Health Resource Board to add another 16 beds to its newborn intensive care unit (NICU) as the wing’s next phase in expansion efforts.The Health Resources Board voted Thursday to approve the Certificate of Public Review Application for a 16-bed expansion, which would renovate the second floor of the duPont Pavilion at its Wilmington hospital, next to an existing NICU and operating rooms.Nemours, formerly known as the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, would have 48 NICU beds after the second phase of its expansion. The children’s hospital completed its first expansion of the unit in 2018, which added more than a dozen beds.In total, Nemours has 260 beds to date at its Wilmington Hospital.Projected to cost $17.5 million, the project would add 12 private rooms and two twin patient rooms. By growing its patient capacity to serve the Delaware Valley, Nemours officials expect to grow other key areas of medicine and treatment.“As we expand in the Delaware Valley, as well as grow our perinatal, fetal cardiac and the advanced delivery programs, we will see a continued growth in the demand for our Level IV NICU as well as surgical and medical subspecialty services,” Nemours spokeswoman Rachel Simpson told Delaware Business Times. “We are uniquely positioned in Delaware and surrounding states to serve the most vulnerable of infants requiring highly-specialized care.”Nemours has a national presence with 260 beds in Orlando, Fla., but its facility in Wilmington is the state’s only children's hospital. It receives patients primarily from Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, and New Castle County. Roughly 30% of patients come from Kent and Sussex counties as well as other areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.Nemours also offers the only level IV NICU in Delaware, with on-site, pediatric-specific cardiovascular surgery, general surgery and anesthesiology.The health care system anticipates a third expansion to add 14 beds, although it’s unclear when that may occur.“We strive to build a comprehensive, contiguous space to enhance patient care quality and safety as well as operational efficiencies and workflows,” Simpson added. “To ensure excellent patient care quality and safety, we will ensure our teams are resourced with highly-qualified professionals. It is anticipated that with our expansion in space, there will be continued growth in staffing resources.”Nemours projected it would add roughly 13 full-time equivalent NICU associates with the bed expansion.
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