JOPLIN, MO.--- Mercy Hospital is getting a specialized facility for newborns. This will be Mercy's first ever NICU. The neo-natal facility will be finished by 2015. They currently have a nursery for newborns, but if special care is needed, the little ones have to be transferred.
"Take care of those little bitty babies," said Kathy Cowley, Mercy Birthing Center Manager.
The NICU intensive care unit will provide specialized care for sick or premature newborns.
"We are going to get a NICU that we have never had before and all of our equipment and everything is the latest and greatest, so that's exciting," said Cowley.
It will have state of the art equipment to help ensure the newborns will receive the best care.
"Sound and actually lighting of an infant of that stage really affects their development. So we really try to focus on reducing the light levels, reducing the noise in the units, and controlling the environment for infections," said John Farnen, Mercy Strategic Project.
Each baby will have their own room to help prevent germs and provide privacy for families.
"That way we think it will really help to keep the family unit together. And it's been evidence base proven that, that makes a baby and anybody that's ill, it helps them to heal a lot quicker when they have their family with them," said Cowley.
Right now families with babies in the NICU have to drive to Mercy Springfield for care, but not for long.
"I think it allows the families and the infants to actually stay in Joplin. Not have to commute an hour away or so to go to a facility. So to be able to stay here. To be able to get home during the day to see their families and take care of other kids possibly. And to be able to come back here I think will be great for this community," said Farnen.
The Ronald McDonald House will build an apartment which will be connected to the new NICU. It will provide a place to stay for a family while their baby is being treated. Mercy is excited about this new facility and it will open in 2015.