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St. Joseph’s Hospital-South opens new NICU to care for the tiniest patients

St. Joseph’s Hospital-South in Riverview has completed a $130 million expansion that began three years ago, expanding its emergency department and building a five-story patient tower to accommodate new services. With the expansion, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South now has 223 beds. When the hospital opened in 2015, it had 90 inpatient beds and 22 observation beds.

The expansion is highlighted by the February 22, 2021 opening of  an 11-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU is for babies born prematurely or with special health needs. The Level II NICU provides specialized around-the-clock care 24 hours a day, seven days a week for newborns and their mothers. The NICU is staffed by highly-trained neonatologists, obstetric and pediatric hospitalists and board-certified maternal fetal medicine physicians and certified nurses.

Mothers will be able to stay in the baby’s room during their child’s NICU stay. St. Joseph’s Hospital-South can also transfer babies requiring higher care levels to the Level IV NICU at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa.

WATCH the virtual tour here:

Another part of the $130 million expansion was completed in October 2020 when a new pediatric inpatient unit opened with 12 private rooms. The pediatric unit includes a dedicated treatment room with state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology. The treatment room is for simple procedures like IVs and blood draws.

“The addition of the NICU and pediatric inpatient unit will augment and expand the services we provide for mothers and their children,” said Rita Templeton, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South director of patient care services. “We’re excited to be able to offer this level of NICU to the communities of southern Hillsborough, the South Shore and northern Manatee County. The family-centered NICU will provide individualized care and a comforting environment for the whole family.”

St. Joseph’s Hospital-South already operates a dedicated pediatric emergency center with a dedicated pediatric waiting room and specialized areas for the treatment of pediatric emergencies.

Other expansion features include:

In May 2020, a build-out of two additional medical/surgical floors was completed adding 36 private rooms for  medical/surgical and 12 private rooms for progressive care and telemetry patients. Four new surgical operating rooms were also opened in May 2020. The new operating rooms are used for inpatient and outpatient surgeries. With the expansion, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South now has 10 operating rooms including two ORs for C-Sections and one operating room dedicated for state-of-the-art robotic surgeries.

Types of surgeries/procedures performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital-South include: bariatric, cardiac catheterizations, ENT (ear, nose and throat), gastroenterology, general surgery, gynecology, interventional radiology, nephrology, neurosurgery-spine, obstetrics, orthopedic, pediatric orthopedic surgery, pulmonary, urological and vascular.

The May 2020 phase also included added space for rehabilitation and respiratory therapy departments. Physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and speech pathologists primarily work with patients at the bedside but their new space contains a stair training area and treatment table for patients doing therapy outside of their hospital rooms.

The first phase of the expansion was completed in October 2019 and included a  25-bed emergency center expansion, bringing the total ER beds to 55. This emergency area also includes CT, X-ray, ultrasound rooms and an 18-bed emergency center observation unit.

“This expansion would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of our community,” said Phil Minden, St. Joseph’s Hospital-South president. “As a part of our evolution, we have made it a priority to meet the growing needs of our patients.”

“As we have demonstrated by adding NICU services, BayCare is fulfilling their commitment to improving health care in this region of southern Hillsborough and northern Manatee counties. Along with other services included in our latest expansion, the NICU will allow for families to stay closer to home, yet still have the clinical integration of St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.”

“In five short years, St. Joe’s-South has doubled our bed capacity, expanded our ER and ORs to meet growing needs. We have this wonderful community and medical staff to thank.”

St. Joseph’s Hospital-South NICU

Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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