― The Indiana State Department of Health has designated the Special Care Nursery at Northwest Health – La Porte, located in downtown La Porte, as a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. According to the revised Indiana Perinatal Hospital Standards, hospitals certified as a Level II Neonatal
Intensive Care are capable of providing specialty care for infants delivered as early as 32 weeks or who are moderately ill with problems that are expected to resolve rapidly and who would not be anticipated to need subspecialty-level services on an urgent basis.
The designation followed a rigorous examination of the hospital’s Special Care Nursery including written standards, protocols, guidelines, staff training, and equipment. The Special Care Nursery is staffed to care for up to four neonatal intensive care infants. These infants benefit from additional support from sister hospital, Northwest Health – Porter where neonatologists are available around the clock to provide immediate consultations or, if necessary, a transport team at the ready should babies need transferred to a level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“At Northwest Health, we are known for the maternal and neonatal services at our hospitals in La Porte and Valparaiso. With this new designation for the Special Care Nursery at Northwest Health – La Porte, we continue to add to the full range of services available for families in the region. Our OB team at Northwest Health – La Porte is well-deserving of this designation as a Level II NICU,” said Ashley Dickinson, CEO for Northwest Health. “The state designation confirms that our efforts to advance our processes, and expertise and quality outcomes on a daily basis are making a difference to the communities we serve.”
The state law to certify level-of-care designations for hospitals and other facilities providing birthing services is part of an initiative to combat Indiana’s high infant and maternal mortality rates. Under this law, hospitals are rated on the levels of obstetric and neonatal care they provide so patients can be better informed about the quality of care they can expect.