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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

A passion for miracles

When newborns need extra-special care, our medical staff is prepared. Through highly-specialized care by advanced trained physicians and staff and the love of families who wait by the bedside, we see miracles every day. Families say they leave changed forever because of the experiences and relationships formed in the NICU. We have to agree.

Highly-specialized care for newborns

Our 52-bed NICU at Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital—Riverside is staffed by a multidisciplinary care team of physicians, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, neonatal nurse practitioners, pediatric therapy services, and consulting physicians. All have extensive training in the care of premature and ill infants.

Mercyhealth is the regional leader in neonatology, a branch of medicine concerned with the care, development, and diseases of newborn infants. Our neonatologists provide 24-hour in-house coverage, and registered nurses must complete a comprehensive 18-week orientation program.

Small Baby Unit

The 12-bed Small Baby Unit, within our NICU, was developed to improve long-term developmental outcomes among the regions’ rare micro-preemie population, born less than 30 weeks gestation. The unit was specifically constructed with special lighting and noise reduction to keep stimulation to a minimum, an attempt to mimic what babies would experience if they were still safely tucked in the mother’s womb. We have one of the first Small Baby Units in the State of Illinois.

Neonatal Transport Team

Our dedicated Neonatal Transport Team is equipped to handle the specialized needs of premature or critically ill newborns, whether traveling by ground and air. Once a NICU transport is requested, the transport nurse contacts the referring hospital to obtain more information about the patient, determines whether air or ground transport is most appropriate and prepares for departure. The team consists of registered nurses and registered respiratory therapists.

Vermont Oxford Network

Our NICU is a member of Vermont Oxford Network, a collaborative of health care professionals dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families. The network comprises over 950 hospitals around the world and has a database that includes information about the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants.

A time for celebration

Every year, we welcome past patients and their families to join us at the NICU Family Reunion. It’s a special time where our caregivers are reunited with the families they grew to know during their time in the NICU.

Level III Regional Perinatal Center

Mercyhealth’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), part of the Northwest Illinois Regional Perinatal Center located at Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside, provides care for premature, critically ill, and injured newborns from throughout 11-county region in northern Illinois and 4-county region in southern Wisconsin.

On July 1, 2018, Mercyhealth became the only state-designated children’s hospital in northern Illinois. Mercyhealth earned this designation from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services because of the wide range of children’s services we offer that meet their stringent standards.

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Comprehensive Women's and Children's Services

We offer the most comprehensive pediatric and perinatal specialty teams in Rockford, IL.

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Neonatal Transport Team

Transporting moms and babies via ground and air

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NICU Family Advisory Council

Supporting NICU families with experience and understanding

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Child Development and Behavior

Providing a variety of inpatient and outpatient child development and behavior services

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NICU Follow-Up Clinic

Helping the transitioning home from intensive care

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A Parent's Guide to the NICU

Answering commonly asked questions about the NICU

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NICU Reunion

Since 1984, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mercyhealth Hospital-Rockton Avenue has held an annual NICU Reunion in early September.

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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Locations

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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

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