Crestwood Medical Center to open newly expanded NICU

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Crestwood Medical Center will soon be opening a new neonatal intensive care unit.

When babies are admitted into the NICU, it generally means being separated from the family, but Crestwood is looking to change that approach.

From a single room to ten individual rooms, Crestwood's NICU manager, Kelsey Lightfoot, says they're seeing a huge upgrade.

"Our current NICU is just one big room, about the same size as one of our NICU bays here now," said Lightfoot. "So essentially, it's probably about 10 times bigger, at least."

With more room, comes more privacy for the families.

"I think the biggest difference is going to be that the parents can stay," says Lightfoot. "In our current NICU, it's literally just a big room and these are all separate rooms so now we'll have couches and stuff for parents to be able to stay and participate in their baby's care."

"I believe that we're one of the only hospitals in the area that can offer this for the parents, and it's just fantastic for mom, dad, and baby and families to bond."

The unit will also have a bathroom and shower for families to use, along with a new NICU family waiting room.

Lightfoot says the entire project has been in the works for years, but the construction began just a few months ago. "The actual building and finally getting to do this project probably started in about July. So it's been a pretty quick transition."

The NICU is only awaiting furniture, a few monitors and of course, babies.

"My employees in the NICU are so excited to just be involved," says Lightfoot. "A lot of them want to come in on their weekend off and help set up this new NICU to make sure it's perfect for these babies."

Crestwood Medical Center will be providing a professional video tour to any family considering having their baby at the Crestwood facility.

They plan on opening the new NICU by next week.

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