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News Room: St. Elizabeth has Received Certificate of Need and is Approved for Level III NICU Services

To download a pdf of this news release, please click here.
(Edgewood, KY) - St. Elizabeth Healthcare announced today that the Franklin Circuit Court has instructed the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to issue St. Elizabeth a Certificate of Need (CON) to provide Level III neonatal services at its Edgewood facility. This means that babies born in Northern Kentucky, who need this higher level of care, will now be able to stay close to their mothers for emotional and maternal bonding for the best possible outcomes. Plans are underway to launch this higher level of care as soon as possible.

John S. Dubis, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Elizabeth Healthcare said, “We deliver over 4,500 babies each year, and I cannot express what a great benefit this will be to our mothers, babies and community. We are thankful that the Franklin Circuit Court recognized the need to improve access to a higher level of care to the families of Northern Kentucky. This decision has addressed a vitally important issue and a service that has been requested by families throughout our region.”

In a lengthy CON review process, St. Elizabeth was required to show that there was sufficient need in Northern Kentucky for a Level III service and that St. Elizabeth, in coordination with the neonatologists of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, would provide high quality care. Among those who endorsed the program were the Director of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Division of Neonatology, James Greenberg, M.D. and the Director of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital’s Division of Neonatology, Richard Martin, M.D. These two national leaders in neonatology confirmed that community-based programs such as the one proposed by St. Elizabeth is the standard of care across the nation, and results in the best outcomes for both mother and baby.
St. Elizabeth delivered more than 4,500 babies in 2012 and with this approval will now be able to care for babies at any gestational age unless requiring surgery or other services that are only available at Cincinnati Children’s. In partnership with the neonatologists at Cincinnati Children’s and the Tri-State Maternal Fetal Specialists, St. Elizabeth will also be able to provide more comprehensive neonatal services at one facility, including minor surgeries and continuous ventilation.

In 2011, St. Elizabeth Healthcare completed an extensive $11 million renovation to its state-of-the-art labor, delivery and nursery unit in order to accommodate a Level III NICU. The renovation of its Family Birth Place, including the creation of private NICU rooms, allows for the optimal noise and lighting for delicate pre-term babies, reduces the potential for airborne infections, and allows additional privacy for important mother-baby bonding. The neonatal staff at St. Elizabeth, which includes experienced neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners, has completed specialized training in partnership with Cincinnati Children’s.

To expand its comprehensive services offered through the obstetrics program, St. Elizabeth recently completed an expansion of its Maternal-Fetal Center at its Edgewood campus. St. Elizabeth received the Women’s Choice Award from WomenCertified® distinguishing it as one of the 2013 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in Obstetrics.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare
St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates six facilities throughout Northern Kentucky — Edgewood, Florence, Ft. Thomas, Covington, Grant and Falmouth. It also has vast resources to serve the Greater Cincinnati area, including almost 1,200 licensed beds, a physician organization which includes more than 77 primary care and specialty office locations, more than 1,200 physicians with admitting privileges, more than 7,400 associates including St. Elizabeth Physicians, more than 1,200 volunteers, three freestanding imaging centers and two outpatient ambulatory surgery centers. St. Elizabeth Healthcare is sponsored by the Diocese of Covington and provided more than $93 million in uncompensated care and benefit to the community in 2011.

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