Providence Portland to open a NICU by summer 2014

John McDonald, M.D. John McDonald, M.D.
Providence Women’s and Children’s Program medical director

July 31, 2013

One-quarter of all Oregon children – 11,000 babies a year – begin their lives in a Providence hospital. Here at Providence Portland Medical Center we delivered 2,500 infants last year alone.

We’re pleased to share that as a natural extension of the maternity care we currently provide, PPMC will open a level III neonatal intensive care unit in the summer of 2014.

The NICU will be located on the hospital’s third floor, which will be devoted to maternal and infant care. The unit initially will serve premature infants 30 weeks and older, and eventually will care for premature infants 28 weeks and older.

Work on the $8 million unit will begin immediately. The state-of-the-art facility will have private rooms and serve up to 14 infants. Over the next year we will hire dedicated staff members, including OB hospitalists, and a medical director for the NICU. We will work with maternal and fetal medicine specialists to grow our care for mothers experiencing difficult pregnancies.

Providence Portland will be the closest NICU facility for families in need throughout east Multnomah County, Clackamas County and the Columbia River Gorge. In addition, it will allow Providence Portland patients experiencing a challenging pregnancy to remain at our medical center and deliver their baby here, at the hospital of their choice.

We will benefit from the experience of our neonatal experts at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, who have a national reputation for clinical excellence. The PSVMC NICU admits more than 850 fragile newborns each year, some of them as early as 23 weeks gestation. Newborns needing pediatric surgery will continue to be cared for at PSVMC.

Together, our two NICU locations, and our experts who serve in the units, will offer exceptional care to parents throughout the greater Portland area.

How We Care video: NICU reunion at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center