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Valley Baptist Health System committed to higher treatment of care for newborn babies

Aug 24, 2018

VBMC-Harlingen designated Level III NICU 


HARLINGEN, TEXAS— Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen is proud to announce that it has been designated a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by the Texas Department of State Health Services.   This announcement comes only a few weeks after Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville announced being designated a Level III NICU.  This designation means Valley Baptist Healthy System now offers a higher level of care at both campuses for babies born prematurely or who need special care for an illness.  

A Level III NICU offers a clinical team specially trained to care for babies as premature as 23 weeks, babies born with a critical illness, or babies in need of breathing equipment to help them stay alive.  The unit is fully equipped with modern state-of-the-art equipment and 24-hour coverage by skilled and talented Neonatologists and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, highly trained to provide quality care.  The NICU team also includes specially-trained neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists. In addition, there is a Lactation Consultant to assist new moms with breastfeeding and collection of breast milk for all infants in the NICU, and all of the unit’s nurses are certified in breastfeeding consultation.  “We remain committed to treating and caring for our smallest patients as they enter the world,” said Manny Vela, Chief Executive Officer for Valley Baptist Health System.  “Receiving this designation at both our Harlingen and Brownsville campus is a true testament of our team’s commitment to elevate the care for babies in Cameron County and our commitment to making every effort to keep our babies and families together in the Rio Grande Valley.”

The multidisciplinary team is ready to assist babies to have the best outcomes with a NICU dietitian, speech/physical therapist, social worker, chaplain, among many other entities. A diverse group of specialists are also readily available, such as a cardiologist, neurologist, pharmacist, and ophthalmologist.

“We understand the worries parents feel when their tiny baby needs additional care.  A NICU Level III ensures that highly trained specialists are on-hand to continuously care for their babies and address all concerns that families have. We are so proud to be able to offer this higher level of care to our babies and their families” said Vela.

As noted by March of Dimes, it’s important for moms who may have had complications during pregnancy, or a baby that has a condition and needs specialized medical care at birth to have a higher level of care available to mom and baby at delivery. 

Valley Baptist-Harlingen’s recent Level III NICU designation is the latest development in the hospital’s efforts to provide the families of the Rio Grande Valley with comprehensive pediatric healthcare close to home. Valley Baptist-Harlingen is also home to the only dedicated, hospital-based pediatric emergency room in Cameron County, and the Valley Baptist-Harlingen Matt & Patty Gorges Children’s Center includes a 14-room pediatric intensive care unit, the only one of its kind in Cameron County.


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