New Level II Nursery Opens at Swedish/Issaquah July 8; Service Provides Premature, Sick Infants with Special Care, Support

June 20, 2013

By Swedish News

ISSAQUAH, Wash., June 20, 2013 — Swedish/Issaquah will open its new Level II Nursery on Monday, July 8, having recently received state approval to provide this vital service to the community. The Level II Nursery allows for premature and ill babies — born as early as 34 weeks gestational age — to stay at Swedish/Issaquah to receive the specialized, around-the-clock care they need from a specially trained team of experts.

Until now, babies born prematurely (less than 37 weeks gestational age) at Swedish/Issaquah were transferred to other area hospitals to receive neonatal care.

“Since opening, we’ve had to transfer nearly 30 premature or ill babies to other local hospitals so they could have access to dedicated neonatal care,” says Neonatologist Eric Demers, M.D., medical director of the Level II Nursery and a Pediatrix Medical Group physician who specializes in the care and healing of premature or sick newborns. “Now that we’re adding this special-care nursery, a baby born as early as 34 weeks can remain at Swedish/Issaquah with his or her mom, and be provided with expert, specialized neonatal care.”

Swedish received approval to add a Level II Nursery at its new Issaquah hospital once it met Washington state’s required 1,000 deliveries at the campus. Reaching this number demonstrated there was a need in the community to be filled.

“We have a responsibility to care for patients of all ages, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We’re dedicated to caring for these youngest, most fragile patients,” says Wendy Colgan, R.N., manager of Women & Infants and Pediatrics at Swedish/Issaquah. “And there is a definite need to be filled — parents and these precious babies deserve access to this level of care in their community. Parents can rest assured knowing that should their new bundle of joy enter the world earlier than expected, we now offer this appropriate, important level of care close to home.”

Features of the Level II Nursery

Premature infants often face health challenges that require special care, such as feeding support, intravenous therapy or supplemental oxygen. These tiny, fragile patients require a dedicated team to provide care and monitor development.

At Swedish/Issaquah, the Level II Nursery will be staffed by highly skilled neonatal advance practice registered nurses who are supported by neonatologists. These nurses and physicians are part of the Pediatrix Medical Group, the same group of clinicians who staff Swedish’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at its First Hill campus, and the special-care nurseries at Swedish’s Ballard and Edmonds campuses.

The new Swedish/Issaquah Level II Nursery also features:

  • Eight private, state-of-the-art hospital rooms offering the latest in neonatal technology and space for parents to sleep.
  • A family centered environment so these newborns — and their parents — get the tender, loving support they need and deserve.
  • A location in close proximity to other related services. The Level II Nursery is located on the second floor of the hospital near the Labor & Delivery, Post Partum and Pediatric Units.
  • The Level II Nursery will have a phased opening. The first phase is the July 8 opening of the initial eight rooms. Construction on the second phase starts this fall, and will include expanding to 15 rooms. Construction will be complete in 2014. This expansion will allow for Swedish/Issaquah to care for babies delivered as young as 32 weeks gestational age.

Access to the Larger System

Should a baby still require a transfer to Swedish’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on the First Hill campus in Seattle — due to extreme prematurity or a medical condition — parents can rest assured that the baby has instant access to the largest neonatal program in the state. Swedish's NICU is one of a handful of Level III Nurseries in the region, and cares for the most premature or sick newborns. In addition, the baby will have consistency of care with the same team of Pediatrix Medical Group physicians and nurses, and an electronic medical record accessible at any Swedish facility.

Pre-Opening Media Tour

In advance of it opening, news media are invited to tour and learn about the new Level II Nursery on Monday, July 8 between 1-4 p.m. Interested reporters can come by anytime during the three-hour window. A number of staff from the nursery — including Neonatologist Eric Demers, M.D., Wendy Colgan, R.N., manager of Women & Infants, and neonatal advance practice registered nurses — will be present to answer questions and give tours. Media interested in attending should simply call 206-998-5028 or page 206-998-5028 to RSVP.


About Swedish

Swedish has grown over the last 103 years to become the largest non-profit health-care provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Ballard, Cherry Hill, 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. For more information, visit

About Providence Health & Services

Providence Health & Services is a not-for-profit Catholic health-care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. In 2012, Providence affiliated with Swedish Health Services, expanding both organizations’ ability to carry out their individual missions. With this affiliation, the combined scope of services includes 32 hospitals, 350 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services. The health system employs more than 64,000 people across five states – Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington state – with its system office located in Renton, Wash. In 2011, Providence provided more than $651 million in community benefit, including nearly $204 million in free and discounted care for those who could not afford to pay for care. Providence Health & Services continues a tradition of caring that the Sisters of Providence began more than 155 years ago. For more information, visit