PROVO, Utah – A Utah County hospital is expanding to make more room for some of their smallest patients.
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center is expanding their newborn intensive care unit, and they will go from 39 rooms to 55.
Shelly Williams is the mother of one of the babies being cared for at the NICU, and she said she’s spent many nights there tending to her daughter, Eloise.
“We've been here 108 days,” she said.
The expansion will make the hospitals’ NICU the largest in the state. Stephen Minton, the medical director of newborn services, said things have changed since he came to the area.
“I came down in ‘79,” he said. “We had two babies. We were in a little closet, in an old hospital that no longer exists.”
The expansion features private, single-family rooms with sound proof doors and state of the art equipment.
Williams said the expansion is a good thing.
“It’s an exceptional addition, it looks beautiful,” she said. “The windows are lovely, let in so much sunlight, and I'm a big fan of the new chairs. I like those, those are much more comfortable than the old ones.”
The hospital also added nine rooms for mothers in high-risk pregnancies. The additions are also expected to reduce the average stay by a week.
“We've introduced new processes, new feeding protocols, which is reducing length of stay,” Minton said.
Williams said she can’t wait to take her daughter home, but she said she is grateful for those at the NICU.
“They don't only care for the baby, they care for the parents,” she said. “They are very professional and very kind, some of them will be my friends for the rest of my life.”