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News Room: BUSINESS COURIER: Hospital gets OK for advanced neonatal care

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Business Courier
By: James Ritchie

St. Elizabeth Healthcare will finally get the approval it’s sought for years to run a highlevel neonatal intensive-care unit.

Franklin Circuit Court instructed the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to issue a certificate of need for the proposed Edgewood facility.

In the certificate of need review process, St. Elizabeth had to show that there was sufficient need in Northern Kentucky for a Level III NICU. It also had to show that it would, in coordination with the neonatologists of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, provide high quality care.

“This decision has addressed a vitally important issue and a service that has been requested by families throughout our region,” John Dubis, CEO of St. Elizabeth, said in a press release.

St. Elizabeth appealed after the state in February 2012 denied it a certificate of need for a 12-bed service. Detractors, including the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, had said the service was not necessary.

Dubis noted that St. Elizabeth delivers more than 4,500 babies per year.

With the facility, St. Elizabeth “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,” according to a press release. Among the services that St. Elizabeth will be able to provide are minor surgeries and continuous ventilation.

In 2011, St. Elizabeth Healthcare completed an $11 million renovation to its labor, delivery and nursery unit in order to accommodate a Level III unit.

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