Riverside, CA — Riverside Community Hospital hosted an open house December 6, 2022 for community leaders, dignitaries, non-profit organizations, physicians and more to showcase our new expanded Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU.) Notable guests included California Senator Richard Roth, Nicholas Adcock, President, Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Paloma Montes, representative from Councilwoman Erin Edwards’ office and Alex Lopez, representative from Assembly member Sabrina Cervantes’ office.

Features of the new NICU include:

  • 35 beds (including 3 isolation)
  • 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
  • Family-focused design for bonding and comfort
  • New technology
  • Total investment: $19,359,000

Currently, Riverside Community Hospital has a 20-bed Level III NICU. “This expansion will enable us to care for more premature and sick infants who need our help,” said Annette Greenwood, Chief Nursing Officer at Riverside Community Hospital. “In 2021, we had almost 700 NICU admits; 200 of our admits were outside the Riverside area. With our expanded unit, we expect more families from all over the region to choose Riverside Community Hospital for delivery.”

Tours of the unit began with an overview of the expansion as well as what each patient bed area looks like, including the isolette, charting station, supply cabinets and parent communication care board. Guests viewed the Family Sleep Room, a cozy place for families to spend the night with baby prior to discharge. “We want parents to be able to ask questions to nurses and feel confident in their abilities to care for babies who have been with us a long time,” said Bonnie Dutton, Director, Women’s Services at Riverside Community Hospital.

Guests also spoke to Anthony Sitchler, certified NICU respiratory therapist, who showcased the new baby ventilators for the unit as well as spoke to the role respiratory therapists play in a baby’s transport team. The tour concluded with an area to congregate, enjoy food and network.

Leadership from Riverside University Health System, the County of Riverside, Global Medical Response and Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House partook in the tours as well. Additionally, several leaders from nursing school partners such as La Sierra University, California Baptists University, Azusa Pacific University and West Coast University attended. “The NICU is a beautiful space and a welcome addition to the community and surrounding region that will provide critical care for a growing need in the Inland Empire,” said James Scheu, Associate Dean of Nursing, West Coast University. “We are proud and honored to continue our close partnership with Riverside Community Hospital as we support the community and provide exceptional, top-notch clinical experience for our students.”

Riverside Community Hospital’s expanded NICU is slated to open in January 2023. Find more information on NICU services, on our website.