Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the first hospital in Fort Bend County to earn Level II (special care nursery) designation from the State of Texas and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The designation is the result of a comprehensive review of the Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land’s capabilities, protocols and policies by a team from the American Academy of Pediatrics. As part of that process, the survey team conducted a two-day site visit, interviewing NICU physicians and nursing staff and reviewing case files.
“This is an important step forward for our Childbirth Center because it demonstrates that we have the experienced, knowledgeable staff, infrastructure and protocols to care for babies who need additional treatment and support after birth,” said Janet Leatherwood, Chief Nursing Officer at Houston Methodist Sugar Land.
A Level II is capable of providing care for premature babies born with a 32-week or greater gestation maturity who weigh at least 1,500 grams, as well as moderately ill newborns who require specialized medical treatments for a short time. Level II nurseries are required to have pediatric hospitalists, neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners on staff.
“The survey team noted that our staff demonstrated a strong commitment to furthering a family-centric culture in the NICU, which is an important element in our approach to care,” said Leatherwood. “I’m extremely proud of the efforts that our physicians, nurses and support staff make every day to provide outstanding care to these newborns while also ensuring that the parents and other family members feel supported and involved with their new babies.”
The Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land is a full-service birthing facility providing prenatal, labor, delivery, postpartum and neonatal care. The Childbirth Center provides a positive, supportive and memorable experience for moms-to-be in Fort Bend County and surrounding areas — all in a comfortable, convenient location close to home.
To continue serving our growing community, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has already kicked off a $60 million expansion project this year, which is projected to open the second quarter of 2020. This expansion will significantly enhance its women’s health service offerings, including expanding the Childbirth Center. The second and third floor of a newly constructed building will offer:
- 18 birthing rooms, and four triage rooms (up from 12 today)
- 36 postpartum rooms (up from 26 today)
- Three operating rooms (up from two today)
- A seven-bed Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (upgraded from a Level II designation) – the first Level III in Fort Bend County
- A 12-bed continuum care nursery (up from nine beds today)
- An 18-bed well-baby nursery (up from 16 today)
The expansion of our neonatal intensive care unit will also enable the hospital to care for premature newborns at an even earlier gestation, which is a critical need here in Fort Bend County. We will be the only hospital with a Level III NICU so Fort Bend babies won’t have to leave the county for a higher level of care.
To learn more about the Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land, visit houstonmethodist.org/childbirth-sl or call 281-274-7080.