WAUSAU – Aspirus Health announced this week the opening of its expanded neonatal intensive care unit at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

The expansion includes the addition of five new NICU rooms, for a total of 17 rooms.

“This expansion means we can care for even more of the region’s most vulnerable patients – babies who are born prematurely and/or are critically ill,” said Matt Heywood, CEO & president of Aspirus Health, in a news release.

The hospital’s NICU has the region’s only single-family room model for critically ill babies.

“The single rooms mean parents can stay with their baby 24/7, allowing privacy with their baby and providing the opportunity to bond and participate in their care,” said Barb Lemanski, NICU manager, in the release. “It also provides flexibility to parents as they may need to leave and return again.”

The NICU care team includes three neonatologists and a support team of specialists provides ongoing care and support to patients and their families as well, including neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and cuddlers – volunteers who are trained to hold the babies.

The NICU features a webcam system, with a camera in every room, offering secure real-time online viewing, promoting whole-family bonding.

To learn more, visit aspirus.org/nicu.