Swedish First Hill NICU earns Level IV designation

September 04, 2014

Washington State Department of Health designates Swedish First Hill as a top care center for newborns

SEATTLE — September 4, 2014Swedish Medical Center announced today that the Washington State Department of Health has designated its First Hill neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as a Level IV regional NICU. This designation places Swedish First Hill among an elite group of care centers in Washington – and one of only two facilities in Seattle – with the capabilities to provide the highest level of treatment for critically ill and premature newborns.

“Infants born early or with life-threatening conditions need instant access to specialized care and a gifted team of caregivers,” said Melissa Cate, R.N., M.N., MBA, system administrative director for Women’s, Infants and Children’s Services at Swedish Medical Center. “Swedish First Hill is honored to provide the highest level of neonatal services to families in this region.”

Swedish First Hill is Washington’s largest NICU, with more than 75 NICU beds. The facility treats an average of 26 babies requiring Level IV treatment and 27 babies in need of Level III care each day. With its combined birth centers at Ballard, Edmonds, First Hill and Issaquah, Swedish provides care for more than 9,000 families each year.

The Swedish First Hill NICU also provides care to a variety of local community hospitals and out-of-state institutions as far away as Alaska and Canada. More than 150 babies are transferred to the Swedish First Hill NICU each year.

Swedish First Hill’s previous designation as a Level III NICU has been elevated due to the Department of Health’s 2013 revision of Washington’s Perinatal and Neonatal Level of Care Guidelines. A Level IV designation must meet all Level III capabilities and be located within an institution with the capability to provide surgical repair of complex congenital or acquired conditions, maintain a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical subspecialists, and pediatric anesthesiologists on site, facilitate transport and provide outreach education.

“This designation acknowledges the expertise and dedication of our First Hill NICU team and their ability to care for infants who face life-threatening illnesses or complications,” said Tanya Sorensen, M.D., executive director of Swedish Women’s and Infants. “Our nationally renowned neonatologists are here 24 hours a day, ensuring that every baby born has the best possible care.”

In addition to providing quality care for mothers during birth, Swedish opened The Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns in July 2013. The Lytle Center aims to make the adventure of having a newborn a little less stressful by providing wrap-around care for mom, baby and the entire family such as: new mom and well-baby checkups, lactation consultation, classes and exercise space, along with retail necessities.

More information is available at http://www.swedish.org/pregnancy.

About Swedish

Founded in 1910, Swedish is the largest nonprofit health care provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care, including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. In 2013, Swedish provided nearly $143 million in community benefit in Western Washington. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter, or www.twitter.com/swedish.