Expert neonatal intensive care

While no parent wants to think about having a child in the NICU, families at Sky Ridge can rest assured their babies are receiving the very best medical care and support.

As a Level III NICU, Sky Ridge is qualified to provide comprehensive care to some of the smallest patients in our community. This includes appropriate equipment, technology, staffing and access to sub-specialist pediatricians to care for specific problems. Our NICU provides the best environment for premature and ill babies, born as young as 23 weeks or as tiny as 1,000 grams, to grow until their parents can care for them just like a full-term baby.

While their babies convalesce, families may stay in the NICU for days at a time, if they wish.

Features of our NICU

  • NICView baby cams for live video feed monitoring upon request
  • 23 private rooms
  • One triplet room and three twin rooms
  • Two parent "rooming-in" rooms when parents need to be close to baby
  • Ronald McDonald Family Room
  • State-of-the-art monitors and ventilators

The Ronald McDonald Family Room at Sky Ridge

Offering you and your family a place to rest and regroup while caring for your baby, the Ronald McDonald Family Room provides you a home away from home right inside the hospital. This room serves as a calm oasis for parents just steps away from our NICU and pediatric department. Here, parents can relax in the comfort of home, take a nap or get some much needed quiet time away from the hospital atmosphere. Our Ronald McDonald Room is conveniently located on the second floor.

In the Ronald McDonald Family Room, you'll find the comfort and support you need for you to remain close your child. The resource room and volunteer team help families focus on the health and recovery of their sick children as well as care for themselves. Staying close by allows parents to better communicate with their child's medical team, alleviates stress and helps with coping. Additionally, families may find comfort being surrounded by those in similar situations.

Features and services of the Ronald McDonald Family Room include:

  • Ronald McDonald volunteer staff from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily
  • Hot food and snacks
  • Kitchenette that includes microwave, oven and refrigerator
  • Shower facilities
  • Utility room with washer and dryer
  • Internet access
  • Seating area with a television
  • Quiet reflection area

Learn more about the NICU from a neonatologist

Dr. Joe Toney

Dr. Joe Toney, a neonatologist and medical director of Sky Ridge's NICU Pediatrix/Obstetrix Medical Group of Colorado, answers important questions about our neonatal intensive care unit.

Q: What role do you play as a neonatologist and medical director of the NICU at Sky Ridge Medical Center?

A: Being a neonatologist means I have special training to care for babies who are ill. About half the babies I care for are born premature; the other half are full-term babies who have critical health problems, such as heart defects, respiratory illnesses, genetic disorders or other serious medical complications.

As medical director of nurseries at Sky Ridge it's my job to make sure the nursery has the appropriate equipment, technology and staffing as well as policies and procedures in place to deliver the safest and highest quality care to expectant mothers and newborns.

Q: Why do babies have to be treated in the NICU?

A: Premature babies are treated in the NICU because they may not have the ability to do many of the things that a full-term baby can do. Some need help with their breathing in the first few days, and many can't nurse or bottle feed directly and need to be tube-fed until they're more mature. Most also need help staying warm and need to be cared for in an incubator. The NICU provides the best environment for them to grow until their parents can care for them just like a full-term baby.

We also take care of babies who are born full-term but may have difficulty transitioning from life inside the womb to life outside. We treat these infants for various problems, such as jaundice, infections and difficulties with breathing. Babies in this situation might need care for just a few days.

Q: As the newest HealthONE hospital, Sky Ridge is a valuable asset for people living in south Denver metro area. What are some of the amenities available as well as benefits for babies who are delivered at Sky Ridge?

A: Sky Ridge is a full-service hospital with a separate pediatric emergency department and a pediatric unit staffed by Pediatrix/Obstetrix physicians and private pediatricians. With its 11-bed nursery, Sky Ridge has the ability to provide care for babies born at or after 28 weeks and who weigh more than 1,000 grams, or about 2.2 pounds. The hospital has a full range of sub-specialist pediatricians for areas including cardiology, surgery, urology, endocrinology and gastroenterology who can care for infants with specific problems.

Also, Sky Ridge provides a parent room where parents can stay temporarily if their infant needs to have prolonged care beyond when the mother is discharged from the hospital. As a physician affiliated with Pediatrix/Obstetrix, I also have access to the organization's research data system called Baby Steps, which allows me to tap the expertise of hundreds of neonatologists around the country to provide the best care and treatment for newborns.

Q: Can you talk more about Pediatrix/Obstetrix's Baby Steps database and how that technology helps you do your job more effectively?

A: Baby Steps is our proprietary database that helps us share expertise with other physicians around the country, especially when we're caring for babies with rare or complex conditions. We also use the database to analyze information on more than 40,000 patients to develop best practices for delivering care.

Q: What exactly is Pediatrix/Obstetrix Medical Group?

A: We're a nationwide practice of physicians founded in 1979 who provide specialized care for high-risk babies, children and mothers. Our Colorado group of about 50 doctors is part of a network of more than 800 specialists around the country.