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Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has received the Neonatal Level III designation of their Neonatal Intensive Care from the State of Texas, the hospital announced in a Friday news release.

Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land is the first NICU in Fort Bend County to be designated at a NICU Level III, according to the release.

Designation levels are awarded by the state to hospitals that provide neonatal and maternal care. Hospitals are required to validate their level of care through a survey process every three years to ensure the best care is provided, according to the release.

“We are incredibly proud of this designation and the ability to give this high-quality care to our babies and their families,” NICU manager Theresa Walters, RN, MSN, RNC-NIC, said in the release. “This allows some of the sickest patients to stay in their own community, which takes some burden off of new parents who already have plenty on their minds.”

According to the state, a hospital that earns Neonatal Level III designation provides care for mothers and comprehensive care for infants of all ages with mild to critical illness or those on life support; offers consultation with pediatric medical and surgical specialists that can perform major surgery, whether on-site or at an appropriate facility; has skilled medical staff and personnel that are specially trained and competent in caring for this vulnerable patient population; assists in transports, and provides educational outreach to lower level designated facilities.

“This Level III designation is a public acknowledgment of our core values at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital – our dedication to quality and safety enables us to provide excellent patient care,” Childbirth Center Director Cristina Martin, MSN, RN, RNC-NIC, said in the release. “We are thrilled to be able to meet the growing needs of our tiniest patients and their families in Fort Bend and surrounding areas.”

“Mothers have trusted Houston Methodist Sugar Land with the distinct pleasure of delivering their babies since we opened our doors in 1998,” Chris Siebenaler, CEO and Regional Senior Vice President for Houston Methodist Sugar Land, said in the release. “Providing the highest-quality neonatal intensive care is a testament to our dedication to meeting the needs of moms and babies who have unique care journeys.”

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