Riverside, CA – Riverside Community Hospital opened its newly expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to patients last evening, May 2. The hospital moved 4 infants last night and continued Wednesday morning moving the remaining 15 babies in house.

To move to the newly expanded unit, each infant was individually transported in their isolette with an attached shuttle transporter that included all the necessary equipment needed to safely move from the old unit to the new unit. On each journey was the baby’s nurse, a neonatologist, respiratory therapist and several other escorts.

Features of the new NICU include:

  • 35 beds (including 3 isolation rooms)
  • 1 parent sleep room
  • 2 neonatologist sleep rooms
  • Staff breakroom
  • 3 offices
  • New waiting room with 2 new public restrooms
  • 2 lactation rooms
  • 6 storage rooms
  • All new equipment
  • Total investment: $19,359,000

“This has been years in the making,” said Annette Greenwood, Chief Nursing Officer, Riverside Community Hospital. “It’s truly breathtaking to see a unit bloom from blueprints and a design concept to an actual patient care facility that will treat, heal and nurture our tiniest patients. I know the doctors, nurses and countless support staff who care for these infants will take immense pride in being the first caregivers in this beautiful unit.”

The newly expanded NICU is located in Riverside Community Hospital’s G Tower. G Tower opened in 2017 to 105 private patient rooms, a new cafeteria and kitchen, as well as a new power plant. The 7-story tower, when opened, had intentional shell space which has since filled up with surgical pre-op/ post-op suites, new imaging equipment and now a 35-bed neonatal intensive care unit. The NICU project started in July 2021.

“The NICU team has been eager to move into the new unit and are beyond excited the day has finally come,” said Bonnie Dutton, Director of Women & Children Services. “We are making this a special day for the first NICU babies and their families, creating a cute ‘First Resident Certificate’ and decorating with fun balloons. The expanded unit is family-friendly which will really allow parents to have ample space to visit their baby with privacy for bonding time and skin-to-skin contact.”

The NICU adds 15 beds to Riverside Community Hospital’s total bed count bringing it to a 493-bed licensed facility.