About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Stafford Hospital proposes new NICU
MediCorp Health System has notified the Virginia Department of Health that it would like to build a neonatal intensive care unit at Stafford Hospital Center. MediCorp filed a letter of intent with the state last month. It has until Jan. 4 to follow up with a formal application for a state permit.
MediCorp officials were not available to talk about the project. According to the letter they sent the state, the new NICU would be located on the second floor in the maternity section of the new hospital.
The NICU would be an “intermediate level” facility. The state defines an intermediate facility as one that cares for newborns who weigh at least 2,000 grams at birth or who are at least 34 weeks’ gestation. These nurseries generally care for babies that need only to gain weight before being discharged.
Currently, the babies born at Stafford who need advanced care are taken to the NICU at Mary Washington or other hospitals.