Neonatal Services at St. Christopher's

The highest level of neonatal care is provided at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children with a 30-bed full-service facility that provides individualized care for the complex needs of each neonate. Each year, approximately 300 infants are referred to the NICU from throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond.

The unit is staffed by a team of neonatologists, neonatal-perinatal fellows, pediatric residents, neonatal nurse practitioners, a physician’s assistant and specially trained nurses who care for infants with a multitude of medical or surgical complications. In addition, as leaders in neonatology, the faculty conducts continuing education programs for physicians and nursing staffs across the region.

Some of the therapies used in the unit include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), inhaled nitric oxide therapy, and high-frequency oscillatory and jet ventilation, as well as therapeutic hypothermia to treat acute hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Medical care in the unit is enhanced by the accessibility of St. Christopher’s pediatric subspecialists and surgeons, including pediatric neurologists and pediatric cardiologists. Surgical procedures may be performed at the bedside in patients deemed too ill to be transported to the operating room suite. Click here to read a story about one of our ECMO patients.

The NICU staff provides parents with support, counseling, and education. In addition to the nurses, other team members including a social worker, child life specialist, physical and occupational therapists, and a discharge planning coordinator are available to assist with parents’ needs during their baby’s hospitalization and at discharge. Our social worker is experienced in helping parents to negotiate the hospital system, access appropriate community resources and cope with the stress of their child’s hospitalization. The staff strives to provide individualized developmental care.

Parents are encouraged to visit at any time. Overnight accommodations can be arranged at The Ronald McDonald House, conveniently located on the campus of St. Christopher’s Hospital. Condition updates on patients may be obtained 24 hours a day by contacting the unit.

Continuing Care Nursery

A 10-bed Continuing Care Nursery (CCN) provides a family-centered environment in preparation for discharge and the transition home. Babies in the CCN are typically in the convalescent phase of their acute illness, and benefit from the quiet, calmer environment. A feeding specialist works with nurses and parents as needed to successfully and safely transition babies to breast or bottle-feeding. Parent education is a major focus of activities in the CCN. In addition to the CCN staff, medical staff from the NICU are immediately available to address any issues that may arise. 

The CCN is staffed by Julie Niblock, PA-C, a physician’s assistant with specific training in neonatal intensive care, as well as the members of the team of attending neonatologists.

Important Phone Numbers

  • NICU: (215) 427-5151
  • Section of Neonatal Medicine: (215) 427-5202
  • CCN: (215) 427- 7914

​Our Team

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia has a highly qualified team of board-certified experts who are specially trained to work with the individual and unique needs of infants and pediatric patients. The team is led by Vineet Bhandari, MD, DM Chief, Section of Neonatal Care; Endla Anday, MD, Director of Neonatal Services; and Jane McGowan, MD, NICU Medical Director.  To view a list of our specialists, click here.