Lufkin to get first area NICU

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It started out as a dream, it's now a blue print and by the end of the year, the new level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Woodland Heights Medical Center will be a reality.

"I think it is vitally important. It is a service line not currently offered here. It is something our community needs and I am very proud we are able to offer it," said Woodland Heights CEO, Casey Robertson.

This is all part of a partnership with Texas Women's Hospital in Houston. Construction on the area begins in June.

Nurse Marryann Kreid says it will give access to the extensive care they need.

"They need extra care. They are usually on oxygen and need IVs and daily or bi-daily blood draws. They usually they will require antibiotics," said Kreid.

With the renovations will come new delivery rooms and state of the art equipment that will help take care of sick and unstable infants.

Without this project, families with NICU babies would have to go to Houston, leaving their kids in the hospital while they returned home to work.

"It helps not have to take up residence in a far away distant place while their child continues to grow," said Woodland Heights Board Chairman, Dr. Roy Gues.

Inside the current women's center, nurses and staff agree.

"They have all their family here and it is local and if they are out of town they really don't have anybody to fall back on," said Nurse Sapphira Clark.

"We really wanted an area where the parents could be with their kids," said Kreid.

Robertson says new jobs should be expected with this new addition but could not give any estimates at this time.

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