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Celebrating 1 year in new Women’s & Infants’ Health units

On February 24, 2015, Mount Sinai Hospital celebrated the opening of the new Newton Glassman Charitable Foundation Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU),  Slaight Family Labour and Delivery Unit, and Am Israel Chai Antenatal Unit.  These units, all among the busiest in Canada, feature state-of-the-art facilities designed to support evolving models of care and help Mount Sinai deliver the best outcomes for patients and their families.

“The transition to the new units was a big step forward for care and practice at Mount Sinai Hospital,” says Joanne Mackenzie, Senior Director of Women’s and Infants' Health. “It is very rewarding to have state-of-the-art facilities to match the outstanding level of care in these units. And it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come in the past year.”

Like staff, many patients are reflecting on the changes since the move.

The first baby: Emily

One of the earliest patients on the new labour and delivery unit was Sara, who delivered the first baby on the unit, her daughter Emily. One year later, some memories remain strong.

“I will always remember being wheeled onto the new unit and staff excitedly applauding, and again the excitement of everyone when Emily was actually born,” Sara says. “I have been recommending Mount Sinai to everyone I know having babies. The staff and clinical expertise have always been excellent, and now they have a world-class labour and delivery unit with outstanding facilities to match.”

Now a year old, Sara describes Emily as “a very busy baby."

"She is now walking, climbing and into everything," Sara says. "Her favourite activities are dancing, bath-time splashing and following her big sister everywhere.”

NICU transition: Jocelyn

Like Sara, baby Jocelyn was a patient who transferred from the old unit to the new facilities. Jocelyn was one of the tiny, vulnerable patients in the NICU, who had already been in the hospital for several weeks at the time of the move.

Today, Jocelyn is a happy, healthy one-year-old (eight months corrected). Her mom, Carolyn, says “she is crawling everywhere, is able to pull herself to a stand, is eating solids and she chatters away. You would never know that she was born just shy of 25 weeks at 1lbs. 7oz. ‎ She is progressing well in all aspects developmentally. She is truly a happy baby, and we are enjoying every moment and milestone with her. “

Carolyn recalls the old NICU as an intimidating place with “lots of noise and bright lights.” On the new unit, featuring individual rooms, she and her husband, Don, “immediately felt more relaxed.”

“We were able to focus more on our baby,” says Carolyn of the new NICU. It was there that they had their favourite moment in the NICU, when Jocelyn transition from the isolette to a “big girl” bed. “We were able to dress her in clothes for the first time,” Carolyn remembers. “It was a real moment where we started to see the light. We felt very lucky to be at Mount Sinai in the new facility. We knew that Jocelyn was getting the best care.”