Loyola Medicine's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Celebrates 30 Years

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Loyola Medicine's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Celebrates 30 Years

30 Nurses Have Been with the NICU Since 1987

Loyola Medicine's NICU nursing colleagues

Loyola has 30 NICU nurses who have worked in the NICU since it opened in 1987. Many physicians, clinicians and other support staff have also worked in the NICU for decades.

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is celebrating 30 years of caring for some of the smallest and sickest newborns. 

"It gives a sense of joy and accomplishment when you work with these small babies," said Sachin Amin, MD, medical director of Loyola's NICU. "When they come back thriving and meeting great milestones, it really makes us proud."

Since opening in 1987, Loyola's Level III, 50-bed NICU offers the latest technology, therapies and techniques, and serves as a national model for specialized protocols and practices in the care of premature infants. The current staff includes 30 nurses who have been working on the unit since the beginning.

Over the years, the nurses have gone above and beyond caring for their patients by making Halloween costumes, organizing Santa visits and celebrating milestones with the families. 

"We have so many people who retire from this area because they can't see themselves doing anything else," said Janice Hart, RN, who has worked in the NICU for 30 years.

Among the 10,000 babies treated in Loyola's NICU are five sets of conjoined twins and thousands of twins, triplets, quadruplets and even quintuplets. The staff also cared for a baby who was born at 9.2 ounces in 2004. Until 2016, she held the record for the world's smallest surviving baby.

To continue the celebration, Loyola will hold a reunion of former NICU families in the spring. 

"Sometimes we have babies here who stay three or four months," said Linda J. Juretschke, PhD, APN/NNP. "I'm always so happy to see our babies go home, but we're just as happy to see them come back with the parents doing well and the babies thriving." 

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.