Mercyhealth Becomes the Only State-Designated Children’s Hospital in the Northern Illinois Region

Effective July 1, Mercyhealth became the only state-designated children’s hospital in the northern Illinois region. Mercyhealth earned this designation from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS) because of the wide spectrum of children’s services it provides through its State of Illinois-designated Regional Perinatal Center, Level III (highest level) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Small Baby Unit, Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, Pediatric Critical Care Center, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the over 50 pediatric physicians who provide care in 26 different pediatric subspecialties. In addition, the amount of charitable care provided by Mercyhealth to residents in the community spurred the Children’s Hospital designation.

Mercyhealth is a State of Illinois-designated Perinatal Center, providing medical direction for an 11-county region in northern Illinois. It is the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the region, caring for premature newborns that are critically ill or require surgical intervention. Mercyhealth’s Small Baby Unit cares for the smallest of micro-preemies born at less than 27 weeks gestation or weighing less than 2.2 pounds.

In 2017, Mercyhealth Hospital-Rockton Avenue in Rockford was designated a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). It’s the only one in Rockford and one of only five Illinois hospitals designated as being capable of providing comprehensive trauma care to children who have suffered blunt force trauma, penetrating wounds and head injuries in incidents such as crashes, falls or violent acts. In addition to the Pediatric Trauma Center designation, Mercyhealth is recognized as one of only ten Pediatric Critical Care Centers by the IDPH, which means it provides the highest level of specialized critical care in its 20-bed Pediatric Unit and 7-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Mercyhealth’s 50+ pediatric specialists provide care in 26 specialties, including 24/7 neonatology and 24/7 pediatric hospitalist services.

“We take great pride in giving infants and children the best possible start in life, and are proud to be the only hospital in the northern Illinois region to have earned state designation as a Children’s Hospital,” said Javon R. Bea, President and CEO of Mercyhealth. “Caring for the region’s smallest and youngest patients, especially those who are less fortunate, is an honor. We will continue to bring the highest level of neonatal and pediatric care to the region.”

It is because we are the State designated Regional Perinatal Center for the northern Illinois region, and the fact that we are the largest Medicaid and charitable provider in northern Illinois, that the State of Illinois gave this designation to Mercyhealth.

Last year, Mercyhealth partnered with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to bring super subspecialty services to Rockford, including pediatric cardiovascular surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, pediatric urology, pediatric hematology/oncology, and 24/7 consultative and telemedicine coverage for pediatric neurocritical care, infectious disease and pediatric emergency medicine.

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