Orange Park Medical Center has announced a $2.9 million expansion project adding 2,100 square foot to their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The expansion will provide five additional NICU beds to the already existing unit. The new beds are designed and equipped to address either level II or level III subspecialty newborn care, with ability to care for babies born at less than 32 weeks gestation and 1,000 grams as well as babies born with critical illness, at all gestational ages.

With the new expansion, Orange Park Medical Center's NICU will more than double the beds available for newborn babies. The hospital, which delivers over 2,000 babies each year treats around 500 of those babies in their NIC.

"There is a great need for more critical care neonatal beds in our community," said Kathy Hester, Orange Park Medical Center's Chief Nursing Officer. "As prematurity and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) rates continues to rise we are taking action to make sure we are prepared to help care for those in need."

Included in the hospital's upcoming upgrades will be NICVIEW technology, a bedside camera that shares live-stream video through a secure and closed system. This new feature will provide 24/7 access to families allowing them to see their new baby when they are unable to be at the hospital.

Hester says she knows parents hope their child never ends up in the NICU but if they do, they can be rest assured that their team of specialists mixed with the new upgrades will assist in making a stressful situation a little more comforting.

TMPartners serves as the architect and Commercial Construction Services as the contractor on the expansion project. Construction will begin this summer and is expected to be complete in early 2019.