Officials, former NICU baby, cut ceremonial ribbon on Maimonides Children’s Hospital expansion

Officials cut the ribbon on Maimonides Children’s Hospital’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) expansion on Jan. 4.
Photo provided

Maimonides Children’s Hospital has successfully completed an expansion of its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after an emotional and long-awaited ribbon cutting ceremony last week.

A leader in neonatal care, Maimonides Children’s Hospital is a New York State-designated Regional Perinatal Center (RPC) and Level 4 NICU that offers a wide range of resources to treat conditions such as prematurity, infections, and birth defects in Borough Park.

“We are proud to celebrate the expansion of the NICU at Maimonides Children’s Hospital and our ability to provide world-class medical care to families here in Brooklyn,” said Dr. Alok Bhutada, chief of newborn medicine at Maimonides. “Though it is never easy to have a baby in the NICU, additional beds and resources will allow us to further support and deliver the care needed.”

Already boasting an impressive array of technology as well as a dedicated staff 24/7, this latest $12.3 million expansion adds an additional 17 NICU beds to the Children’s Hospital, raising their grand total to 48 beds.

In addition to the upped number of beds, this expansion will also include other equipment-based resources such as state-of-the-art Angel Eye cameras. A unique addition to the NICU’s hospital care, officials say the cameras allow the families of a child to watch live footage of their baby 24/7 from the comfort of their home anywhere in the world.

“The expansion of our NICU at Maimonides is one step of many in our efforts to deliver top-notch care to our community,” said Ken Gibbs, president and CEO of Maimonides Health. “Families can rest assured their children will receive the best in health care technology and caring experts right near home.”

The expansion was ushered in with a ceremony that brought together Maimonides staff, senior leadership, and former patients including a six-year-old girl named Alba Lopez Gutierrez who, as a baby, was once one of the smallest residents of the NICU. Now a healthy, growing child with no memory of her many months in the NICU, she welcomed new families into the expanded NICU by cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

Alba Lopez Guitierrez, a former NUCU patient, helped cut the ribbon on the expansion. She is joined here by her mom, Josselin Gutierrez.Photo provided

“I think the standout moment was seeing the six year old cut the ribbon. I couldn’t be more emotional about it,” said Dr. Bhutada. “To see a baby who was 390 grams at one point in 23 weeks and to come and cut a ribbon at six years old – she was so poised. I mean, there were about 100 people, the energy level was high and there were a lot of people like the CEO, but this girl was unfazed.”

Now, whenever future families entrust their children’s lives to Maimonides Children’s Hospital, they will become a part of what Dr. Bhutada called their “extended family,” receiving unprecedented levels of care at a time in their lives that can often prove terrifying.

 “As Brooklyn’s only children’s hospital and pediatric trauma center, Maimonides Children’s Hospital is constantly looking for opportunities to expand our ability to deliver excellent care,” said Dr. Jeffrey Avner, Chair, Department of Pediatrics. “We thank those who have supported this expansion and look forward to continuing to provide critical and lifesaving medical care to our patients.”