By: Marcus Trevino
The Stillwater Medical Foundation received $1 million from OnCue to help pay for a Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit at Stillwater Medical Center.
The nonprofit arm of the regional health system announced Monday OnCue’s gift as the largest in Stillwater Medical Center history during a press conference.
Hospital officials and OnCue President Laura Aufleger said that they hope the unit, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2024, will keep families together during challenging times.
“Nothing prepared me for the day when I did not hear my son’s heartbeat,” Aufleger said. “It’s vital to have that higher level of care when every second counts, and many like myself had to travel 70+ miles away from friends and family.”
Often, premature babies must be sent out of state because there aren’t enough NICU beds in Oklahoma.
The 98-bed Level 4 NICU at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health is frequently operating at maximum capacity. For the past 18 months, the hospital has experienced an unprecedented surge of patient volume, said chief of neonatology Trent Tipple.
“The OnCUE neonatal ICU at Stillwater Medical will enable parents and families to stay close to home to receive care after delivery, preventing that painful separation of mom, dad and baby,” Tipple said. “It will also enable us to keep beds available for babies needing the highest level of neonatal care in Oklahoma. Care that only we can provide.”
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