• Neonatology (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU)

    Critically ill newborns require special treatment. The doctors, nurses and counselors on the UK Neonatology team specialize in the treatment of the unique problems faced by at-risk newborns and babies born early, or 'preemies'.

    An experienced team of social workers and counselors work with families to help them deal with the crisis, and it doesn't end when a newborn leaves the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We provide comprehensive follow-up care plan to help families with the challenges of caring for a high-risk newborn and offer special follow-up care at our NICU Graduate Clinic, designed to help children with developmental problems and abnormalities.

    To learn about the quality of care provided in our NICU, review the Vermont Oxford data here: ukhealthcare.uky.edu/quality/key-performance-areas-children/nicu.

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

    The NICU is a 66-bed unit providing Level IV and intermediate care for the newborn. It provides a neonatal transport team that utilizes the Kentucky Children's Hospital ambulance, a mobile neonatal unit, and serves as a regional neonatal transport center serving Eastern and Central Kentucky.

    Our NICU is fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology to give every at-risk newborn the best possible care. Patient care strategies within the NICU include infant therapy and high frequency ventilation for preemies with breathing disorders.

    Our team utilizes both a ground and air transport system to bring patients to our intensive care environment. Approximately 40 percent of birthing mothers at the UK HealthCare are considered high risk; 20 percent of their infants are low birth weight and are admitted to the NICU. About 50 percent of the NICU admissions come from our own delivery service. The remainder of our infants are transported by the nurse clinician Neonatal Transport Team.

    NICU Team

    The NICU team includes doctors, advance practice providers, nurses, respiratory therapists as well as dietitians, social workers and discharge planners.

    Attending physician (neonatologist): is a medical doctor who finished an additional three years of specialized training beyond what is required for a regular pediatric doctor. They coordinate and make suggestions about your baby's care plan to the other team members and are available 24 hours a day if a problem arises. 

    Neonatology fellow: is a medical doctor who has finished pediatric residency and is currently completing his/her training to become a neonatologist. 

    Resident physician: is a medical doctor who has completed medical school and is now receiving specialized training.

    Advance Practice Providers (APP): This group includes Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNP) and Physician Assistants (PA). The NNPs are registered nurses that completed extra training in the care of sick newborns. PAs completed training to become PA and an additional neonatology residency. This group works closely with the attending physicians and neonatal fellows on the unit.

    Neonatal nurses: These nurses have completed extra training to work in the NICU. They will help you take an active role in the care of your baby. 

    Respiratory therapist: Licensed therapists that manage the equipment that helps your baby breathe. 

    We also round with a team of nutritionists, pharmacists and social workers that help us deal with each individual aspect of your infant’s care. Once the infant is close to discharge, the discharge planner will coordinate different services required after discharge along with any necessary additional appointments.

    Connect with us

    Visit the Kentucky Children's Hospital facebook page.

    Education Programs

    Patient stories

    A small miracle: team effort helps UK nurses and their high-risk baby beat odds

    Watch the video on YouTube »

    Natasha and Alan Hendren led a quiet life. The young couple met seven years ago working at UK Good Samaritan Hospital. They married five years ago, worked, went to school – Natasha, now 29 and an RN, to finish her bachelor’s degree, and Alan, 28, and a nursing tech, to earn nursing degree. Beyond work, they mostly kept to themselves.

    “We used to joke that if we wanted to have a party, who would we invite?” said Natasha. 

    Read more of Natalan's story »

  • Information and Support

    Birth Defects

    March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    Birth defects, infant mortality, low birthweight.


    Kentucky Family Partnership - National Family Partnership (NFP)
    The mission of National Family Partnership is to lead and support our nation’s families and communities to nurture the full potential of healthy drug-free youth.

    Family Voices

    Sibling Support Project
    Sponsored by Children's Hospital and Medical Center. Their Web site offers information for siblings of children with special health and developmental needs.


    Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND)
    Nonprofit group providing information concerning infant death and pregnancy loss to bereaved families and health care providers.

    MISS - Mothers In Sympathy & Support
    Provides a safe haven for parents to share their grief after the death of a child.

    Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death (MEND)
    Christian not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to reach out to those who have lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.