Hennepin Healthcare NICU celebrates 50 years

Dozens of former patients, now happy and healthy, come to say thanks

Sloane Martin
September 08, 2018 - 4:54 pm

The neonatal intensive care unit at Hennepin Healthcare celebrated 50 years Saturday.

It has helped thousands upon thousands of families bring home babies who grew up to be happy and healthy. The dozens of kids running around during the celebration were proof of the life-saving efforts.

"We are celebrating helping families, taking care of children and it's wonderful when our families come back, to see patients grown up and doing well," Dr. Connie Adkisson, NICU medical director, said. 

Adkisson said it's not always easy for families to come back because it reminds them of a frightening ordeal. Still, healthy kids -- and adults -- who were taken care of there over the past five decades had the chance to say 'thank you.'

For Gloria Gonzalez's five month old son, who was born at 26 weeks, is still using oxygen, but she wanted to see the doctors face-to-face.

"Once your baby comes ahead of time, it's a scary feeling. You want to have the best doctors available to tend to the baby," she said. "Really appreciate it and really thankful they were here for our baby."

NICU officials are hoping to upgrade to make more space, not just for babies and equipment, but also making the experience more comfortable for families.

"A lot of remodeling is going on since they built [the Clinic and Specialty Center] and I'm hoping we're on the list," Adkisson said. "Maybe we'll see some change in the next three to five years. That would be great."

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