This week saw another landmark occasion for the Joan Kirner Women's & Children's at Sunshine Hospital with the opening of a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the first such unit anywhere in the western suburbs.
The opening was marked by a visit from the Premier of Victoria The Hon Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health The Hon Jenny Mikakos, who were given a tour of the unit by Western Health Acting CEO Natasha Toohey and Head of Neonatology Dr Clare Collins.
The NICU provides care for the most acutely-ill newborns, and has an initial capacity of four cots. It is located next to the Special Care Nursery on the Newborn Services level of the building, which opened in May.
The entourage of distinguished guests also got to meet two-week-old twins Hudson and Archer May, who were born premature at the Royal Women's Hospital and admitted to its NICU before being transferred to Sunshine.
The new NICU in the Joan Kirner building means families like the Mays who live close to the hospital are now able to receive all care through to birth and the neonatal period under the one roof, and nearer to home.
"The opening of this NICU represents a momentous milestone for Western Health and the western suburbs. This is the first new NICU to open in Victoria in a number of decades, and our thanks to the Victorian Government for funding this important addition to our newborn services," said Acting CEO Natasha Toohey.
Speaking at the Joan Kirner Women's & Children's, Premier Daniel Andrews commented: "As a parent, I know the precious first few days, weeks and months can be scary – especially when something's not right. Now, new mums and dads in Melbourne's west will have the world-class care they need closer to home."
This latest service addition comes shortly after confirmation of the 2,000th birth since the move to the Joan Kirner building, which is already well on its way to an expected 7,000 births per year by 2026.