Tiny patients, big needs
Rush Copley renovation to expand NICU care
Rush Copley nurses and physicians provide advanced treatments and bedside vigilance so our newborns and pediatric patients can thrive and grow. Expecting parents hope for a healthy baby and a perfect birth, but some babies require some extra care and that's why we're here. Rush Copley has the only designated Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Fox Valley where approximately 350 newborns receive intensive medical attention each year due to birth defects and prematurity.
This year, a construction project is currently underway to provide all private rooms for our NICU patients and a bathroom with shower, to enable parents to stay with a fragile infant around-the-clock. The quiet environment afforded by a private room fosters improved brain growth and development in babies with extremely low birth weight. Just as important, parents are better able to concentrate on what their doctors and nurses are telling them, and ask better questions without feeling self-conscious about being overheard.
The expansion project includes a Parent Resource Room, supplied with computers, reference books and pamphlets. The room will be a calming, healing and nurturing environment where parents can retreat from the stress of the alarms and increased activity that may take place in their infant's intensive care environment. This new respite area is where parents can grab a snack or a drink, read a book, catch up on office work, scrapbook or even watch a movie – many of the everyday life activities that have been interrupted.
This room will also house the "book mobile" for the NICU’s shared reading program, giving parents an opportunity to choose a variety of books throughout their baby's stay that can be read to them at the bedside. Each family will also be able to select books suitable for babies and toddlers to take home, in recognition of the therapeutic value of family reading time. Studies have shown that not only does this activity create a foundation for improved concentration, cognition and imagination, it helps create a strong sense of trust and intimacy – as essential to a child’s well-being as check-ups and immunizations.
We will also create a palliative care room where families can gather in comfort and privacy around the tiny patients who are not expected to survive. Many patient families in lower socioeconomic brackets aren’t able to be at their newborn’s side as often as they would like due to limited transportation options. The expansion project also creates a family transportation fund, for help getting to and from the hospital and meals for those who need it.
The NICU Patient Resource Room operates completely on contributions. Find out how you can help by supporting our annual gala event Little Seeds Become Mighty Trees.