The Newborn Intensive Care Unit at UNM Hospital now has room to care for 10 more of New Mexico's tiniest patients. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the NBICU expansion will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13.

Through a major $1.3 million renovation, the hospital was able to expand its capacity to make room for 10 additional Level III beds. The most delicate babies, who are either born too early to live without help outside of the womb or those born with severe genetic and health problems, will occupy the new beds.

A $500,000 donation from the UNM Hospital Service League helped to pay for life-saving equipment including monitors, specialized warmer beds and ventilators.

The expansion is an effort to keep up with the state's increased need of providing intensive care for newborns. A nursing shortage and bed closures last summer forced UNMH to send about 13 babies out of state for care.

"Advances in technology are keeping more premature babies and severely sick babies alive," said Steve McKernan, hospital CEO. "We now have 33 beds that make it possible for UNMH to keep pace with technology and give these newborns a fighting chance at life."
Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322