The IWK Health Centre had a dream of completely revolutionizing care for the sickest and most vulnerable patients requiring critical care. This dream was rooted in the belief that families need to be together.
With the incredible generosity of donors, the IWK had the courage to make this a reality for our region’s most critically ill babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with the completion of NICU North and South.
Now it is time to do the same for the IWK’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
There is still $4.5 million left to raise for the critical redevelopment and we need your support because our kids deserve nothing less than the best care, right here at home in the Maritimes.
On April 11, 2018, thanks to the remarkable support of our donors, NICU North officially opened with 19 private, single-family rooms equipped with the most up-to-date equipment and technology. This new environment demonstrates what families truly need to heal and thrive in an intensive care setting.
This is phase 1 of 3 to transform critical care and is considered one of the largest and most complex redevelopment projects ever undertaken at the IWK.
On June 26, 2019, the IWK completed the NICU redevelopment project with the opening of NICU South, bringing the total number of single-family rooms to 38. These rooms help promote privacy, confidentiality and infection control. They also enable NICU staff to encourage family involvement in newborn development through skin-to-skin contact, infant-parent bonding, improved infection control and breastfeeding support.
NICU North and NICU South were both 100 per cent funded by donors.
Nobody expects their child to end up in the IWK’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). In fact, 50 per cent of admissions are unplanned. Yet, hundreds of Maritime children and youth do end up receiving life-saving care there every year.
The IWK’s current PICU has a physical space that is outdated and not based on today’s standards of care. It is an open-bay design that lacks privacy, dignity and comfort for the sickest and most vulnerable patients in our region during the most stressful times in their lives.
With your support, the redeveloped PICU will feature 10 single, private rooms so families can stay with their children day and night. These rooms will allow for better protection from infection, reduce noise exposure and increase privacy. Caregivers can expand two of the patient rooms into one large room for very critical patients requiring life-support technology, multi-trauma or end-of-life care.
Members of the IWK NICU team travelled as far as Norway and Estonia to learn from leading health care providers. They came back with the goal of not only building better – but the best – for Maritime patients and their families. Watch the video to the right to hear Tanya Bishop, NICU Operations Manager and Clinical Lead for the redevelopment of NICU, explain where it all began and where we’re headed.
The new NICU is a game-changer. The IWK is setting a new standard of family-centred care right here in the Maritimes, and globally.
But the journey is not over. We need your help to raise the remaining $4.5M to complete this world-class redevelopment.
CTV News Atlantic - NICU North: IWK unveils new state-of-the-art neonatal unit (April 5, 2018)
The Chronicle Herald - IWK’s newborn care makes a leap with new state-of-the-art neonatal unit (April 5, 2018)
Global News - New IWK neonatal unit allows parents with premature infants to stay in private rooms (April 5, 2018)
CBC - New unit at IWK will allow parents to stay by their baby's side (April 5, 2018)
The Star - Halifax hospital’s new unit allows parents with premature babies to stay together (April 6, 2018)