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Region's First Neonatal intensive Care Unit Now Open at South Shore Hospital

For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Scott Pickard
January 23, 2004

SOUTH WEYMOUTH, Mass., Jan. 23 - After more than two years of planning, construction, staff recruitment, and training, South Shore Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) - the first such unit in Massachusetts operating outside of an academic medical center - is now caring for premature or ill newborns who require advanced respiratory support.

The unit received its final OK from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health earlier this month.

South Shore Hospital's NICU is licensed to care for 10 babies but will initially be staffed to accommodate fewer infants to allow neonatalogists, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other members of the NICU team to closely monitor the newborns' care.

South Shore Hospital welcomed 4,230 babies last year, making it among the most popular maternity centers in Massachusetts. The new NICU allows those newborns who need respiratory support to remain at South Shore Hospital until they can breathe on their own - thus eliminating the need for them to be sent to Boston for periods that can sometimes be as short as one day. The NICU is located within hospital's recently expanded special care nursery, which was designed and constructed to accommodate the enhanced level of intensive care.

Both the NICU and special care nursery are under the direction of Janet Lloyd, MD, South Shore Hospital's director of neonatology and an attending neonatologist at Children's Hospital, Boston. Dr. Lloyd and her Children's-affiliated physician collagues - Drs. Diana Gilson, Matthew Hjort, and Eyad Zahr - make up the largest full-time community hospital neonatology staff in Massachusetts.

South Shore Hospital is a regional provider of acute, emergency, outpatient, home health, and hospice care. The hospital employs 3,300 full- and part-time employees and has a medical staff of more than 700 physicians.

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