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Albany Med Today

A Caravan of Babies Concludes Pavilion Trek

In the early morning hours of Columbus Day, Albany Med completed the transition into the new Patient Pavilion with the move of the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to the fourth floor.

Michael Horgan, MD, ’80, head of the Division of Neonatal Medicine, couldn’t help but smile as he watched each newborn in a bassinet adorned with colorful quilts escorted from the former NICU in the main hospital to his or her very own private room.

“We’re thrilled with what this new NICU has to offer our patients,” Dr. Horgan said. “The space in the rooms will allow us to continue to provide newborns with the advanced care we are known for, while giving families more space to bond with their child, which is proven to assist in the healing and growing process.”

The 51 private rooms in the region’s highest-level NICU integrate an array of state-of-the-art technology to monitor patients and communicate information to staff. In addition to room accommodations for multiple sibling patients, a family living room, kitchen and laundry area provide amenities in a building designed to serve patients ’ needs.

“This is a patient building,” said Steven M. Frisch, MD, executive vice president and general director of hospital systems. “The entire project is focused on ensuring our patients have the best care in the best setting possible, and that families are able to be comfortable while staying with their babies during the extended hospitalizations that can occur in the NICU.”

The largest hospital expansion project ever undertaken in northeastern New York, and funded by generous benefactors, the 325,000-square-foot Patient Pavilion was built in response to the needs of the community for the specialty care that Albany Med provides as the region’s only academic medical center. It opened in stages starting in August.

With the transitions complete, the hospital’s number of beds rises from 651 to 734. In addition to leading-edge intensive care units for infants and adults, the Patient Pavilion features new operating and recovery rooms and is connected to the main hospital and a 1,500-vehicle parking garage built in 2011.