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What Makes Us Special

Our Experience
WakeMed's Level IV NICU has over 35 years of experience caring for premature and critically ill babies, admitting more than 600 infants each year. 

Single-Room Care
We are the only single patient room NICU in the Triangle. Single-room care in the NICU represents an extension of WakeMed's focus on patient- and  family-centered care to our tiniest patients. This format allows families to spend almost unlimited time with their baby in a developmentally appropriate space and provides privacy to facilitate breast feeding.

The rooms are outfitted with chairs specially designed to facilitate kangaroo care, which encourages skin-to-skin holding. Additionally, the room allows for one parent to comfortably stay overnight with the baby and supports family visitation.

“Improving the environment for families to spend quality time with their babies is very important and the single-room care concept allows us to do that,” said Tom Young, MD, (Neonatology). “This is a significantly different environment than the NICU WakeMed has had in the past. We want to make sure employees are prepared to adapt to the special needs of the NICU patients and their families.” 


A Highly-Skilled Care Team Incorporating Families into Care
We offer a team of highly skilled doctors, specialists and nursing staff that are all committed to providing excellent patient care and ensuring the parental involvement in the care of their baby.

Parents are an essential part of their child's care at WakeMed.

"Families need to be involved, informed partners in the care of their babies," explained James Perciaccante, MD, director of Neonatology at WakeMed. "They are caring for their babies, and we are supporting them through this difficult time. Our NICU team visits with families daily and openly discusses with them their baby's care plan."

“What makes WakeMed’s NICU different from others is that individualized, developmentally supportive, family-centered care is a priority," said Jim Helm, PhD, infant-family specialist and director of the Carolina NIDCAP Training Center at WakeMed, "It’s a comprehensive program where developmental care is integrated into all aspects of the nursery."


Garden of Life Theme
The theme for our unit is "Garden of Life" which includes artwork, lighting and colors inspired by nature to create an environment that is conducive for physical and emotional growth. Patient rooms are arranged in neighborhoods to foster parental unity, camaraderie, and interaction to facilitate the healing process.

Parent Respite Areas
The WakeMed NICU offers two parent and family lounges with areas for older siblings to play and family showers. These lounges are also meant to be a central gathering area to foster parental camaraderie and interaction - another means of support during the stressful NICU experience.

NIDCAP Training Center & Developmentally Supportive Care
Neonatology at WakeMed is home to the Carolina Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) Training Center, one of only 10 training centers in the United States (21 worldwide). WakeMed recently became the fourth NIDCAP-certified nursery in the world.  This esteemed certification is a reflection of WakeMed's dedication to neonatal developmental care and focus on patient- and family-centered care.


“We involved many ‘alumni’ parents, nurses and physicians in the planning process to create an environment that will meet ever-changing patient needs,” said Susan Gutierrez, RN, manager (NICU).




© WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh, NC  |  919.350.8000