MU Women's and Children's Hospital receives $1 million pledge

2 years 10 months 2 days ago Thursday, February 12 2015 Feb 12, 2015 Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:42:00 PM CST February 12, 2015 in News
By: Christina Santiago, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - MU Women's and Children's Hospital received a $1 million pledge Thursday to help fund the recent renovation of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The NICU team cares for more than 500 premature and critically ill infants each year. The NICU project is a $3.1 million addition. The expansion adds 10 additional beds to the unit, bringing the total number of specialty beds to 48. The NICU includes:

  • 20 single-patient rooms
  • Two lactation areas - giving new mothers private space for breast feeding
  • A family-infant room where families can stay overnight with their newborns to simulate how it might be once the newborn is at home and away from constant medical care
  • Portable digital X-ray machine and developer

Each single patient room is equipped with "smart room" technology. A monitor near the child displays a 24-hour record of the baby's vital signs, giving physicians and nurses immediate access to important information.

"Before, all of this information was in a paper chart, but now we can see how the child is doing from the moment we walk into the room," said NICU Executive Director John Pardalos. "This latest technology is more efficient and designed with the baby and family in mind. It also gives us the option to add even more automated capabilities in the future."

MizzouThon, a University of Missouri student-run philanthropic organization, announced the signed pledge Thursday. The student organization works year-round to provide financial and emotional support to pediatric patients in mid-Missouri.

"We view this pledge as a way of investing in the tiniest of patients," said MizzouThon Executive Director Sophie Lustman in a press release. "This is an effort to ensure a bright future for these infants and our world, as these kids will become our future leaders, educators, innovators and caregivers."

With this donation, MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and Pardalos announced the renovated hospital wing will be named the "MizzouThon Neonatal Intensive Care Unit." Lustman anticipates fulfilling the pledge within five years.

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