Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Planned at City Hospital
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia Health Care Authority has approved a certificate of need (CON) application filed by West Virginia University Hospitals-East to open a Level IIB neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at City Hospital.
According to Anthony P. Zelenka, chief administrative officer at City Hospital, this obstetrical service enhancement is necessary to improve access to neonatal intensive care for mothers in the Eastern Panhandle with certain high risk pregnancies.
“By adding a Level II NICU, we will be able to provide care for babies born with low birth weight or who are recovering from more serious conditions,” Zelenka said, adding that mothers and babies currently needing NICU services are being transferred out of state on a regular basis.
According to Zelenka, the project will include the demolition of the existing nursery and construction of a NICU suite on the hospital’s seventh floor. Additional staff and equipment will be required, with capital costs of the project estimated at $785,000.
Some of the recommended pediatric specialists needed to establish the service will be accessed through telemedicine in conjunction with West Virginia University Hospitals in Morgantown. These specialists include a pediatric cardiologist, surgeon, ophthalmologist and geneticist.
“We were pleased to learn that our CON request to open a NICU at City Hospital was approved,” Zelenka said. “We will begin the planning and implementation of this new service in the very near future,” he added.