The newly opened NICU at MercyOne West Des Moines in Des Moines, Iowa is helping to fill a void for rural hospitals that don’t offer advanced neonatal care. Dr. Cary Murphy, Pediatrix-affiliated neonatologist and NICU medical director, said this is a shift in health care that’s happening all over the state. “A lot of smaller hospitals in Iowa are getting rid of their labor and delivery services, it tends to have to do a lot with the economic aspects of it,” said Dr. Murphy. This prompted the development of the Level II nursery at MercyOne, which was designed to keep new parents and preemies together. “There’s lots of studies out there that show that if you can keep mom and baby together the development the long-term outcome is better,” Dr. Murphy said.

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