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Home > Medical Services > Birthplace & NICU > Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) > Care from UI Neonatologists
"I am so happy I delivered at Mercy Birthplace. "
In September 2014, Mercy and University of Iowa Health Care announced a relationship that will brought enhanced care to Cedar Rapids for newborn babies.
Mercy Neonatologist, Dr. Roger Allen, is joined by University of Iowa Children’s Hospital neonatologists, who provide on-site patient care and medical leadership at Mercy’s NICU. This ensures that access to Iowa’s highest-level neonatal experts, working with Mercy’s NICU team, begins at birth. UI Children’s Hospital is home to Iowa’s highest-level NICU with outcomes among the best in the nation for premature infants.
UI Health Care is home to nationally ranked pediatric and women’s health programs, with neonatal outcomes among the best in the United States. By offering these specialized services in Cedar Rapids, the UI and Mercy teams can work together to provide the region’s most advanced care – close to home.
Mercy NICU staff has direct access to UI Children’s Hospital neonatologists and the UI’s latest research and educational guidelines to ensure the best possible outcome for every baby. The first hour of life for a very low birth weight baby is often called "the golden hour," because it is so important to a baby's future.
When the highest level of care is needed, both Cedar Rapids hospitals transfer newborns to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. In fact, of babies born in Cedar Rapids, Mercy has the lowest transfer percentage rate.
If more advanced care is necessary, a premature or sick baby would be transferred to UI Children's Hospital in Iowa City. Last year, less than 1% of babies born at Mercy were transferred to UI Children’s Hospital.
If your baby is transferred, our goal is to allow you to take an active role in your baby’s care as soon as possible. Once you are discharged from Mercy, the neonatologists and staff at UI Children’s Hospital will include you as a critical part of your child’s care team.
We hope that your pregnancy and delivery go smoothly, but if the unexpected should occur, take comfort knowing that, only at Mercy in Cedar Rapids, you have immediate access to a team of nationally ranked neonatology experts.
All NICUs care for babies who need special help, but different NICUs offer different levels of care. UI Children’s Hospital is home to a Level IV NICU — the highest level recognized nationally by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The NICU at UI Children’s Hospital is equipped to care for the tiniest and most critically ill babies, offering the greatest range of neonatal services and support and better outcomes. Survival rates for babies born at 23, 24 and 25 weeks are significantly higher than survival rates for extremely premature babies born at other U.S. hospitals, placing UI Children’s Hospital among the top neonatal intensive care providers anywhere.
"The nursing care is phenomenal. It is almost like you have family taking care of you. They are friendly, warm, understanding and very supportive. I can't tell enough about the exceptional work done by the nurses in the Birthplace."
Our priority is always the health of your baby and we understand you want what’s best for your baby, too. We believe our tiniest patients deserve the best care possible, regardless of whether it is here at Mercy or just 20 minutes away at the University’s nationally ranked NICU. Our providers and staff have strong, personal relationships with the UIHC NICU team; in fact, several have joined Mercy after working at the University.
With the University NICU so close, better equipped and more highly trained than any other NICU in the state, it only makes sense for the healthcare organizations in Cedar Rapids to depend on our colleagues there to provide the highest level of care for these extreme cases (which account for less than 2% of all births). When the highest level of care is needed, both Cedar Rapids hospitals transfer newborns to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
When necessary, Mercy is served by air transport from both St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
As part of our relationship with the UI Children’s Hospital NICU, Mercy added nurse practitioners (ARNPs) to join Mercy neonatologist Roger Allen, MD, for 24/7, in-house NICU coverage. Stacey Happel, ARNP, DNP, Teresa Davidson, ARNP, PNP, and Erin Burns, ARNP, MSN, NNP-BC, all worked at the University prior to joining Mercy.