SALEM, Va. – After a 12-year-long push, LewisGale Medical Center is finally getting a NICU.
The LewisGale Medical Center announced that the Virginia Department of Health approved its Certificate of Public Need (COPN) for a neonatal intensive care unit.
LewisGale has been seeking approval to provide intensive care unit-level services to babies at its facilities.
“After 12 years of vigorously pursuing all possible avenues to secure approval to open a NICU at LewisGale Medical Center for the families and communities we serve, we are excited the Virginia Health Commissioner has approved our COPN application,” said Lance Jones, market president.
Dr. John Harding, an obstetrician/gynecologist at LewisGale, says the approval is an example of their “commitment to expanding our women’s and children’s services to meet the maternal and child needs of [LewisGale’s] growing community.”
“Mothers who delivered in Salem have been needlessly separated from their newborn babies needing intensive care unit services. Today represents a great step in getting us closer to keeping mothers with their babies during such an important time,” said Virginia Sen. David Suetterlein (R-Roanoke County).
Suetterlein, along with Virginia Senator John Edwards (D- Roanoke), were involved in the legislation that exempted a NICU at LewisGale from the COPN process.
“LewisGale Medical Center remains fully and passionately committed to providing NICU services and will provide a standard of care that is routinely available to patients in other parts of Virginia,” said Jones.