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Saint Peter’s Neonatal Unit Rated Top in Nation

June 15, 2021

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, has ranked The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital among the top 50 hospitals in the nation in neonatology in the new 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings published online today. Saint Peter’s is the only New Jersey-based hospital to be recognized among the top 50 in this category for the third year in a row.

“To be recognized yet again as one of the best healthcare facilities in the nation for neonatology is an incredible honor. Our highly trained physicians, nurses and staff consistently provide expert and compassionate care to our most fragile newborns,” said Bipin Patel, MD, FAAP, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “No parent expects to have their baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but if that level of care is needed, you want it to be the best.”

Dr. Bipin Patel

The annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the U.S. in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology.

“As a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, we provide life-saving care with ready access to a full range of pediatric medical and surgical specialists on our team,” said Mark Hiatt, MD, director of Saint Peter’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and chief of the Division of Neonatal Medicine at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “This level of expertise gives parents peace of mind during a stressful time.”

Dr. Mark Hiatt

“The nurses in the NICU are top notch in every aspect,” said Ozana Stefano of Keyport, whose son, Oliver, was in Saint Peter’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for four days and is now a thriving four-year-old. “With our son being born at 35 weeks there were a few scary moments, but Saint Peter’s helped us navigate through his stay in the NICU. There wasn’t a single moment where we felt Oliver wasn’t in the best hands, no matter what happened.”

In addition to its expert clinical services, Saint Peter's is the first regional hospital in the metropolitan area to fully equip its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with live-streaming cameras that make it possible for parents to view their babies from a secure online portal. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this technology made it possible for families to stay safely connected with their babies in the NICU, even if they couldn’t be present in person. This technology makes it possible for families to bond with their baby from any computer or mobile device. Close friends and family members from out of town can also view the livestream.

“Having our baby boy in the NICU was very new and nerve-wracking for us, but the staff at Saint Peter’s made it possible to stay connected to our little boy at all times through the camera setup where we could log in and see him any time we weren’t near him,” Stefano said. “In fact, when we went home and had to leave him in the NICU, we logged into the camera from our TV, fell asleep watching him and woke up to his sweet face on our TV.”

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The rankings are the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals.

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices.

About The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital

The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital is a state-designated acute care facility and Regional Perinatal Center. Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including a nationally renowned Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department, adolescent medicine, cancer care, diabetes, orthopedics, surgery, developmental pediatrics, gastroenterology, allergy and immunology, infectious disease medicine, cardiology, nephrology, neurology, pediatric intensive care, pulmonary/sleep medicine, audiology and physical therapy.

Other programs and services include Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine, which counsels, tests and treats children with rare diseases; the Craniofacial and Neurosurgical Center, which offers corrective surgery and multidisciplinary support for children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities; the Dorothy B. Hersh Regional Child Protection Center, a state-designated regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center for child abuse prevention; and the Center for Diabetes Self-Management and Education, which diagnoses and treats children with diabetes and other endocrine disorders.

Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital is a U.S. News and World Report’s Best Children’s Hospital for Neonatology 2021-22 and has received Perinatal Certification from the Joint Commission and the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been redesignated as a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center of the American Nurses Association for 2020-2024, making Saint Peter’s one of only five hospitals worldwide to receive this designation for six consecutive terms. The Children’s Hospital is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.


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