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NICU 2014 Spooktacular

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)


The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit located at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center is a Level IIIC facility staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners and staff with specific training in high risk neonatal care. Our NICU has 27 Level IIIC beds, and offers a full range of services including varying levels of care from intermediate to critical and unstable infants.

We make sure your newborn benefits from the most accurate testing procedures and latest medical technology.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call our Women's Center at 605-322-3444.

The Best Infant Care

Our NICU participates in the Vermont Oxford Database which provides benchmarking data for quality of care issues including outcomes, length of stay and rate of complications. Our outcomes in all categories are excellent, with a length of stay much shorter than the national average.

NICU Family Support Program®

Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center is proud to be chosen by the March of Dimes to implement NICU Family Support®.

The March of Dimes NICU Family Support® provides information and comfort to families of premature babies and other critically ill newborns being cared for in a Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). While Avera already provides the best technological care possible, this program allows us to offer even better and important emotional support to families during a difficult time. Learn More »

Our Team of Specialists

Our Team of Specialists

Our highly trained NICU staff and integrated team of specialists are prepared to care for high-risk infants.

  • Six fellowship trained neonatologists
  • 20 pediatric sub specialists
  • Nine Neonatal nurse practitioners specially trained and educated for NICU care
  • Physical, respiratory, occupational and speech therapists
  • Neonatal nutrition support specialist
  • Lactation consultants
  • Social services and case management experts

Technology Assisting Care

Technology Assisting Care

The latest technology allows our experts to better care for high-risk infants in a comfortable setting.

  • Hemodynamic monitoring
  • Imaging technology
  • eNICU
  • Total body coolers
  • New radiant warmers, omni beds and isolettes
  • Bedside laboratory testing
  • Neonatal surgery
  • State of the art ventilation
  • Neonatal transport via helicopter, fixed wing aircraft and ground vehicles

Family Centered Care

Family Centered Care

We are proud to be a family-centered care NICU. We provide a family-friendly environment where parents and siblings are welcome to visit.

  • Computers are available on both floors for family use.
  • The Mothers Nest provides a home-like area for moms to stay with their babies in the NICU.
  • We place a strong emphasis on breastfeeding. Our number of NICU graduates breastfeeding at discharge is 90%.

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Shelby's Story

This is the story of Shelby Ullom, born at 23 weeks, to Suzanne and Dan Ullom. Baby Shelby spent seven weeks in the Avera NICU. During those seven weeks, Shelby’s grandfather, Chuck Gustafson, spent hours documenting his granddaughter’s journey through photographs. This is her story.