Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Use arrows to view photos of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore 

Delivering safe, high-quality, and family-centered care for critically ill babies in our community for more than two decades.

neonatal intensive care unitAs one of only two hospitals in Maryland designated as Baby-Friendly®, we prioritize mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding support.

Our new, private room Level III NICU, under the leadership of Fernando V. Mena, MD, chief of Neonatology, is designed to promote a partnership between families and the NICU team, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other experts with extensive neonatal training who provide the highest quality and safest patient care in a setting that, in itself, is healing.

Recently, the Maryland Patient Safety Center awarded us the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Center of Excellence Award.  NAS occurs in newborns who were exposed to opiates, alcohol, narcotic or other drugs while in the mother’s womb. Newborns with NAS have physiologic and neurobehavioral signs, medical complications, increased chance of admission to an intensive care unit, and prolonged hospital stays (average of 26 days).  Through our partnership with the Maryland Patient Safety Center and the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), a worldwide database for neonatal outcomes that provides the ability to benchmark against similar neonatal intensive care units, MFSMC is committed to continuously improving patient and family outcomes. 

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Highlights of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at MedStar Franklin Square 

MedStar Franklin Square’s NICU is a Level III facility equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology and staffed by highly trained, compassionate caregivers. With over twenty-five years of experience caring for babies who are born prematurely or become ill after birth, the NICU’s consistently high patient satisfaction rates reflect the quality of the multidisciplinary team members, who believe that a baby’s successful journey from critical care to home involves the entire family. The March of Dimes recognized this commitment to “family-centered” care by awarding MedStar Franklin Square the first March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program in the state of Maryland. 

neonatal intensive care unit medstar franklin square Baltimore
Our neonatologists, from left to right: Stephanie de Wit, MD, Fernando Mena, MD, and Manisha Patel, MD

  • More than 300 admissions per year.
  • 23 total beds, including 19 private rooms with accommodations for multiples, located directly adjacent to the Labor and Delivery unit.
  • A family area in each room, with extra seating and pullout couches for overnight stays.
  • A dedicated family lounge and reception area with kitchen and eating areas.
  • Enclosed outdoor garden where families can spend quality time together in a safe and healing environment.
  • Brand new construction featuring access to natural light, upgraded infrastructure, and advanced technology. 
  • Equipped with the latest in neonatal resuscitation technology and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment.
  • Sophisticated mechanical ventilation technology including synchronized and high-frequency ventilation.
  • Multidisciplinary team approach including board-certified neonatologists, specialized neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers, nutritionists, audiologists, and occupational, physical, and speech therapists to provide the best care to our sick newborns.
  • Family-centered patient care with 24/7 visitation policy and Kangaroo Care to encourage parents to become actively involved in the care of their baby.
  • Baby-Friendly designated hospital, meaning we have special initiatives in place to improve the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for even the most fragile infants—resulting in 80% of NICU mothers being able to provide breast milk to their infants while in the NICU.
  • Contracted pediatric subspecialty services with specialists able to handle the most complex high-risk conditions including pediatric surgery, genetics, neurology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, and pediatric cardiology.
  • Close collaboration with the Maryland Neonatal Transport Program to transfer babies with rare problems requiring highly specialized care to the appropriate university hospital in Maryland. 

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