I was honored today to be invited to share in the celebration of quality in the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This is the 60-bed unit that provides care to our most vulnerable patients. It is the largest intensive care unit in our hospital, and is the third largest such unit in the State of Virginia (Inova Fairfax NICU has 72 beds in Northern Virginia, and Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD) has 62 beds.
Our NICU serves patients from all over the "near Southwest" and some areas of West Virginia, central Virginia and Eastern Tennessee. The patients are often tiny--less than a pound in weight, or have significant congenital problems requiring surgery, or other sophisticated and complex care. Providing this care takes a coordinated and dedicated group of people.
The Celebration of quality was organized by the physician and nursing leadership of the NICU to recognize the hard work done by all members of the healthcare team over the past year. They have initiated many quality projects, demonstrating excellent outcomes. The areas include decrease in the incidence of "central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI)," "ventilator associated pneumonia," prevention of unintended extubation (when a breathing tube that is connected to the ventilator falls out), and decrease of length of stay (getting babies home as soon as it is safe to do so).
I am SOOOO proud of this group. They work so hard every day to make the care in this NICU the best it can be--anywhere. Achieving excellent outcomes requires the solid commitment of nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, social workers, case managers, physical, occupational and speech therapists, pharmacists, and others. It is a great joy to me to see how seriously they take the meaning of the word team, and how well the babies treated in our NICU do.
To all of them-- I want to give a big shout out, and say THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO EVERY DAY FOR OUR MOST PRECIOUS, TINY, VULNERABLE PATIENTS. YOU ARE THE GREATEST!