Thursday, September 23, 2010

State Approves Piedmont Fayette Hospital CON Applications for NICU Expansion

“Keep Babies in Fayette” Support Made a Difference
The Georgia Department of Community Health announced Monday its approval of Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Certificate of Need (CON) applications to expand its Level II neonatal intermediate care unit and to establish a Level III neonatal intensive care unit to care for fragile newborns who are born here.

“We are excited about moving forward with these important services and want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the community for its support of our Keep Babies in Fayette initiative,” said W. Darrell Cutts, president and chief executive officer of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “The numerous individuals who signed our petition and championed this cause have been vital in ensuring that we will now be able to establish the services necessary to provide the highest level of care for our smallest patients and their families.”

The state’s decision to approve the CON applications comes at an important time for the hospital. Since September 2006, when the hospital started offering obstetric services, over 6,700 babies have been born at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, and the need for such services has grown tremendously. The approved expansion of the Level II intermediate care unit will mean that the need for neonatal care close to home can be accommodated within the planned capacity.

The absence of a Level III neonatal intensive care unit has meant that babies who required more specialized care were transferred to other facilities, forcing families to travel for sometimes over an hour to visit and assist in the care of their sick or premature newborn. Some mothers have travelled outside the community to give birth, anticipating the need for Level III care for their baby. Now, Piedmont Fayette Hospital will be able to offer these highly specialized services, keeping babies closer to home and with their families.

Piedmont Fayette Hospital intends to start construction by December 2010 and offer these expanded critical services close to home beginning in the summer of 2011.
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