When it comes to caring for babies who are seriously ill, have critical needs, or are born prematurely, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cooper University Health Care offers the most advanced level of care possible to families throughout South Jersey.
The Region’s Highest Level III NICU
Cooper offers on-site expertise for newborns and premature infants who have medical and surgical problems related to prematurity or who have respiratory, neurologic, immunologic, metabolic, or birth disorders.
Each year, the specialists at our Level III NICU provide advanced care for hundreds of critically ill newborns and premature infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics assigns levels to NICUs as well as subcategories within those levels based on a NICU’s staff, expertise, equipment, and access to specialists. Cooper’s NICU is the highest Level III NICU in South Jersey, bringing state-of-the-art infant and newborn care and surgical support close to home.
To meet the unique needs of each baby in the NICU, Cooper’s comprehensive level of care extends well beyond our highly trained and board-certified physicians and includes:
- Nurse practitioners
- Respiratory therapists
- Speech-language pathologists
Cooper’s NICU is unique in the comprehensive continuum of care offered across all pediatric subspecialties as well as for mothers who see experts in our Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program. The NICU offers seamless access to experts in numerous pediatric subspecialities, including:
- Cleft lip/palate
- Infectious diseases
- Maternal conditions
- Neurology and neurosurgery
Neonatal Follow-up Clinic
The comprehensive level of care provided by Cooper’s specialists continues even after a baby is discharged from the NICU. Through Cooper’s Neonatal Follow-up Clinic, our neonatologists and specialists continue to care for babies in cooperation with each family’s pediatrician.
Support for Our NICU Families
The Behavioral Medicine team at Cooper provides psychological support to patients and families who are struggling with distress related to medical issues. The team is available to check in on NICU families and provide ongoing support during hospitalization and afterward in our Neonatal Follow-up Clinic.
- Social Work – Our team of skilled social workers helps to coordinate services, including your own support structure, financial and insurance arrangements, and even housing needs.
- Ronald McDonald Family Waiting Room – Our partners at the Ronald McDonald House provide a room for NICU families as a place to sit and relax. Snacks and beverages are provided. There is a restroom available for families in the waiting area and a second one located just outside of the NICU entrance.
- Pastoral Care – We have a team of chaplains who are available to NICU families on request to offer prayers.
- Safety – The NICU is one of many locked units in the hospital, and Cooper has a security team to help ensure the safety of our patients and their families.
- Lactation Specialists – Breastfeeding support is available through our lactation consultants, nurses who specialize in the art of breastfeeding and manage any complex breastfeeding challenges.
Research and Education
In addition to their expertise and leading-edge approach to diagnosing, treating, and caring for the most fragile babies in South Jersey, Cooper’s neonatologists are at the forefront of state-of-the-art research into neonatal diseases and developmental lung conditions, for example, bronchopulmonary dysplasia – the most common chronic lung disease in infants.
Our experts bring their experience and knowledge to the next generation of health care providers by providing enhanced training and educational opportunities for medical students, residents, neonatology fellows, and nurse practitioner students. Cooper’s NICU is one of only three sites that are part of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Fellowship Program that trains tomorrow’s neonatologists.
Clare’s Cupboard provides basic infant supplies to families served by Cooper University Hospital. The families who are helped have limited or no financial resources to purchase the most basic items like formula, diapers, clothing, and other essentials.
The Social Work department helps families identify all available sources of support. When those sources of assistance have been used or are delayed, Clare's Cupboard fills the gaps. One hundred percent of all donations are used for the infants and their families.