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Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

When newborns need extra-special care, our medical staff is prepared. Through highly-specialized care by advanced trained doctors and staff and the love of families who wait by the bedside, we see miracles every day. Families say they leave changed forever because of the experiences and relationships formed in the NICU. We have to agree.

For more than 50 years, Mercyhealth has served as the region’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the highest neonatal designation available, providing the most experienced care for premature newborns that are critically ill or require surgical intervention.

  • Nationally recognized 52-bed Level III NICU at Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside provides care for newborn infants.
  • Most experienced Level III NICU in northern Illinois, with the best quality outcomes. As the region’s Perinatal Center, babies in our care have a better chance at a long, healthy life. Our team is the most experienced in the region.
  • 12-bed Small Baby Unit, one of the first in Illinois and the only Small Baby Unit in the region. This unit provides the highest level of care for the smallest preemies, those babies born less than 30 weeks’ gestation. The unit was specifically constructed with special lighting and noise reduction to keep stimulation to a minimum, an attempt to mimic what babies would experience if they were still safety tucked in the mother’s womb.
  • 10 double NICU suites specifically designed for premature twin babies and their families, offering precious individual space.
  • Single NICU suites created with our youngest patients and their families in mind, with special amenities to provide the comforts of home.
  • Multidisciplinary care team dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable babies. This team includes many different disciplines. Experienced neonatologist and neonatal nurse practitioners who guide the baby’s care, as well as registered nurses who provide for the daily care of the baby. Some babies may need specialty pediatric care. We have respiratory, speech, physical and occupational therapists to assist them while they are in the hospital. In addition, our team includes consulting doctors from many different pediatric specialties.
  • Neonatal Follow-up Clinic, developmental diagnostic clinic, and child psychology services to continue care on an outpatient basis.

Level III Regional Perinatal Center

Mercyhealth is designated by the State of Illinois as a Level III Regional Perinatal Center. This designation is the highest in the state, reflecting Mercyhealth’s specialized expertise and comprehensive resources to treat the smallest and sickest babies.

As the Northwest Illinois Level III Perinatal center, Mercyhealth is the referral center for an 11-county northern Illinois region, including Rockford and the surrounding area. Mercyhealth also provides services to three southern Wisconsin counties.

Level III Perinatal Centers care for women and newborns needing all levels of care, including routine, intermediate, special care, and high-risk pregnancy and neonatal diagnosis and treatment.

Achieving this level requires having many resources, including but limited to neonatologists, nurse practitioners, pediatric anesthesia, ophthalmologists, genetics, intensive cardiac services and intensive neurologic services.

Neonatal and maternal transport teams

Our dedicated neonatal and maternal transport teams are comprised of certified nurses with specialized training to provide both ground and air transports for moms and babies through our REACT program. Our 24/7 dispatch service activates and coordinates communication for our critical care REACT flight and ground transport teams.

State-designated children’s hospital

On July 1, 2018, Mercyhealth became the only state-designated children’s hospital in northern Illinois, offering the highest level of neonatal services in the region. Mercyhealth earned this designation from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Vermont Oxford Network

Our NICU is a member of Vermont Oxford Network, a collaborative of health care professionals dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families. The network comprises over 950 hospitals around the world and has a database that includes information about the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants.

Learn more about Mercyhealth's NICU

To reach our NICU, call 815.971.6500.