MVHS has the only Special Care Level II Nursery in the Utica area. The nursery is ready with the best equipment, specialized physicians known as neonatologists and an excellent nursing staff.

Neonatologists work with pediatricians, obstetricians and family practice physicians on a consulting basis. They are on call 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week to assume the treatment of sick or premature newborns and to assist at high-risk deliveries.

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Because the Mohawk Valley Health System has the only Special Care Level II Nursery in the Mohawk Valley, the majority of sick or premature newborns brought to our hospital are treated right here rather than being transported out of the area. Infants who do require treatment outside the area return to MVHS more quickly because of the services provided by our Special Care Level II Nursery.

Our Special Care Level II Nursery provides two private rooms with bathroom and shower for parents who wish to rest or stay overnight while their child is in Special Care. Many services, programs and equipment used in this unit are made possible thanks to the support of the Children’s Miracle Network.

The therapy team at MVHS consisting of Occupational Therapists (OT), Physical Therapists (PT) and Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP), provides supportive care to the premature infant population through evidence-based evaluation and intervention. The approach stems from a prehabilitative model in which team members work in collaboration to decrease the risk of developmental delay and improve quality of life.

Interventions may include support for the developing sensory systems, positioning, activities to facilitate generalized strengthening, massage to promote positive touch and encourage parent/infant bonding, family/caregiver education early communication therapy, oral motor stimulation and interventions for successful feedings. OT, PT, and SLP work closely with the interdisciplinary team members on the unit, as well as parents/caregivers to foster family-centered care and work towards developmental milestones.

Infants receiving early intervention in the Special Care Nursery from the therapy team demonstrate smoother transition from hospital to home and have greater long-term outcomes in their developmental skills for movement, play, communication and speech development.

The Special Care Level II Nursery also employs a Behavioral Health Licensed Social Worker, who is embedded in the Maternity Department, and can provided an array of individualized services, including Mental Health Assessment, Supportive Counseling, Specialty Services & Resource-Linkage, to parents whose infants are admitted to the NICU.

Parents whose infants are admitted to the NICU after delivery are at an increased risk of experiencing postpartum difficulties, including mood disorders & other symptomatology. The goal of Behavioral Health is to assess these, and other risk factors, and to provide parents and caregivers the supports they need to have the best possible postpartum experience.

Additional services may include routine postpartum mood and anxiety disorder screening, supportive counseling at infant’s bedside, and referrals to community counselors as needed. Also, the Licensed Social Worker strives to ensure that necessary provisions are in place to include, safe car seat and safe sleep items, as well as linkage to online support groups and peer mentoring programs for NICU parents.

In the event that transportation is a barrier to bonding with infant in the NICU, the Licensed Social Worker also takes steps to ensure that transportation is obtained, so all parents can visit their infant during the NICU admission. The Licensed Social Worker may also provide linkage and referrals to home nursing, and any additional community-based supports that provide continued education, risk-reduction and specialized support to parents post discharge. The Licensed Social Worker strives to ensure that all of the Maternal/Child Client System’s needs are addressed & met, both during the Hospital stay, as well as when infants & mothers leave our facility.