The $11.7-million NICU project was funded as part of a $54.7-million project to develop and expand the critical care units at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation provided an additional $1.2 million to fund comfort items for families using the NICU.

The project was completed under budget in spite of construction taking place in an active care hospital and being temporarily halted in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The redevelopment includes 18 beds in single- or double-patient rooms, offering more privacy and space for patients and family members who stay overnight as their newborns undergo and recover from surgery.

“This new unit was built with the needs of families in mind and will provide them comfort during extremely stressful times as their critically ill newborns get the quality care they need at the start of their lives. We’re pleased to support projects like these that build and support the strong health system available to all Albertans. Congratulations to Alberta Health Services and the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation for their partnership in this work.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“This is a tremendous day for the delivery of life-saving care for some of Alberta’s and Western Canada’s most vulnerable and critically ill children. I am extremely proud of the contractors and staff who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to deliver the best environment possible to put these children back on the road to recovery.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

Families were involved in every step of the planning and design of the new unit, helping to build an intensive care space that will improve the health-care journey for patients and families.

“Having a baby in the NICU is a time of crisis for most families. Being at your baby’s bedside can be all-consuming, but in order to care for your baby to the best of your ability, you need to take care of yourself. Knowing that a kitchen, shower and laundry room are just steps away can provide a real sense of relief for families.”

Karen Calhoun, parent and family adviser, Stollery Patient and Family Centred Care

The Stollery is recognized nationally and internationally for high-quality pediatric care. The redeveloped David Schiff NICU at the Stollery Children’s Hospital will help staff, physicians and surgeons maintain excellence in the delivery of neonatal critical care.

“Providing patient-focused, quality health care is at the heart of everything we do, and this new NICU will be of great benefit to Alberta’s youngest patients and their families. The redeveloped space has significant upgrades to optimize patient care and infection control practices, ensuring our staff and physicians can provide the best care possible, not only throughout this pandemic, but in the years to come.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

“The David Schiff NICU at the Stollery represents the final phase of our $15-million Critical for Care campaign to renovate the Stollery’s outpatient, operating rooms and three primary intensive care units. The new NICU provides more space and privacy, and the latest technologies and pediatric equipment. We’re grateful to our many donors and government partners for making this urgent, family-centred care space a reality for newborns and their families.”

Mike House, president and CEO, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

Quick facts

  • The Stollery pediatric critical care units, which include the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit, the pediatric intensive care unit and neonatal intensive care unit, are being redeveloped/expanded to allow for single-patient rooms and other upgrades.
  • About 450 to 500 babies who need surgery are cared for in the David Schiff NICU at the Stollery each year. The unit is supported by more than 200 multidisciplinary staff, including registered nurses, respiratory therapists, neonatal nurse practitioners and neonatologists.  
  • Each bedside is equipped with fridges for breastmilk storage, recliners and sleeping sofas for parents, as well as NICView cameras so loved ones outside the hospital can check on baby virtually anytime they’d like. There are also sleep rooms and a laundry room for families, as well as a family lounge space.