Newswise — Loyola University Medical Center has been redesignated as a Level III Perinatal Center by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

This designation recognizes Centers that have demonstrated the highest level of expertise in caring for women with high-risk pregnancies, their unborn babies and critically ill newborns. These facilities provide comprehensive care with 24-hour availability of all essential specialties, personnel and equipment. The designations are granted for a three-year period.

“As a designated Level III Perinatal Center, Loyola offers the most advanced technology, therapies and techniques for women and infants,” said Jean Goodman, MD, division director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine services at Loyola University Health System and professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Loyola is one of 10 designated Perinatal Centers to provide coordinated high-risk obstetrical and neonatal services for some of the most difficult cases in Illinois serving nine regional hospitals. The Center offers critical obstetric care, leading-edge fetal assessment, prenatal diagnostic capabilities and genetic counseling. Loyola also educates health-care professionals in its network, ensures hospital compliance with state rules and coordinates state and regional quality-improvement initiatives.

Loyola’s NICU patients have included the world’s smallest surviving baby, born at 9.2 ounces in 2004, and more than 3,000 newborns who have weighed less than 2 pounds. LUHS nurses staff a first-of-its-kind, integrated home-care program for premature or sick infants. The unit also provides a follow-up clinic for high-risk NICU graduates to undergo developmental screening and referral care during the first three years of life.

“Our NICU serves as a national model for care with a survival rate that is among the best in the country,” said Marc Weiss, MD, director, Division of Neonatology, LUHS, and associate professor of Pediatrics, Stritch School of Medicine.

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