Western New York has a new resource for its most precious patients. Sisters Hospital is celebrating the opening of its new NICU to care for moms and babies.
The hospital's current NICU spans about 8,000 square feet and is split between two different floors.
The new NICU is more than double that size and is all on one floor.
This expanded and updated facility features 40 individual family pods, meaning baby and family have privacy through their whole stay.
In each room, there is updated technology, the preemie bed, chairs that fold into beds for parents, a bathing sink for parents to learn from and refrigerators for breast milk.
It streamlines all NICU services to one floor and each individual family's needs to one room.
"What we've done is create single family rooms for our patients," Jean Cauley, the Nurse Manager, said. "Right now, in a traditional NICU, we have multiple patients in a room. So the concept of having a family be able to stay with their baby is a relatively new one and it is supported in the evidence for best outcomes and best practices."
Kevin and Melissa Habberfield gave birth to triplets inside Sisters Hospital a little more than a year ago.
Like many multiple baby pregnancies, Melissa and the babies had some complications. Mom had heart issues that kept her in the hospital after delivery. Baby Reese stayed for an extra month or so to gain weight before going home.
They are healthy and happy now, they said, because of the care they received at Sisters.
"There was so much stuff going on with me that I know he was worried, our family was worried and for the babies to be taken care of like they were their own with these nurses and doctors, that makes all the difference in the world," Melissa said.
They came back to tour the hospital's new NICU and see where they would have stayed had they done all this a year-and-a-half later. Same staff but expanded and updated space.
"I can't imagine having the doctors and nurses and everybody that they have here...now that they have the facility that matches the care. Almost makes me want to have three more," Melissa joked.
Sisters will cut the ribbon on the new facility Thursday. They will do a deep clean of the space and then hope to have all babies moved to the new NICU by the end of April.