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Building a Better Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

In 2016 The Richard and Susan Smith Family Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was renovated and expanded to provide state-of-the-art care for the nearly 3,000 premature and sick infants and their families who receive services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) each year. The new NICU is designed to handle more patients than the current capacity.

The Smith Family NICU at BWH creates a more soothing and family-friendly environment designed specifically to help fragile newborns heal more quickly and proceed with development. Building on a long history of excellence in newborn care, this NICU will lead the way in the transformation of newborn care.

NICU Design Features

  • The Smith Family NICU at BWH is among the first in the world to feature a hybrid design suited to babies’ developmental needs as they grow.
  • The most high-need infants are cared for in private patient rooms to enhance comfort and privacy and in semi-private rooms for multiple-birth deliveries; renovated rooms include parent beds.
  • Distinct areas, known as neighborhoods, have been designed to address the needs of each baby.
  • Gathering areas for staff, patients and families facilitate learning and socializing.
  • A Growth and Development Unit to provide the most therapeutic environment for infants who are beyond the acute medical stage. This is based on the latest brain development research.
  • All of the equipment is state-of-the-art.
  • The facility includes parent transition rooms, giving parents private space as they prepare to go home with their baby.

Learn more about our newborn intensive care unit (NICU).

Read about how the Smith Family NICU was designed with families in mind.


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