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Neonatal care demand

You can help

Your gift can help UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital change the landscape of neonatal care for our region, state and nation. UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is already nationally recognized in many areas of specialized care. Please help us expand our neonatal intensive care unit to provide lifesaving care for babies in need. Thank you for your consideration.

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At the time of its inception, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital NICU was considered a large, state-of-the-art neonatal facility. Many advances in technology and neonatal care have since taken place, several of them developed by our own UF physicians.

Physicians like Michael D. Weiss, M.D., who developed a unique body cooling technique to stave off brain damage in babies born with a deficient supply of oxygen, and Mark Bleiweis, M.D., who is one of the nation’s top specialists in congenital heart surgery, heart transplantation and many other vital procedures.

NICU_pearceThe expertise of these physicians, coupled with new approaches to neonatal care, has driven an increase in the NICU’s patient population, forcing expert caregivers to become creative in their approach to overcoming space and equipment shortages.

More than 30,000 children in the state of Florida are born premature each year. Meanwhile, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital NICU – a unit originally built for 52 patients – is struggling to keep up with high demand, often caring for more than 60 patients daily.

While these patients continue to receive the more expert care available in the Southeast, the facility’s space is becoming more limited each day, forcing families into close quarters that lack privacy and the support that is so often needed at such a critical time in their lives.

To better serve these patients and their families throughout our community, our state and our region, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital needs a more spacious, technologically advanced NICU to provide the most advanced care, treatment and support. Furthermore, it needs a facility that puts the focus right where it should be – on the family.