Designing spaces for human-centered interaction and comfort in an acute care environment is the bedrock of healthcare principles.

This is especially true when designing spaces for extended stays, such as the case for premature babies. NICU spaces are so specialized and unique in how they function and the importance of involving the voices and needs of family in the NICU is recognized as a requirement. EAPC carefully considers all elements of design so baby and family are in a welcoming, safe, and comforting environment. With most cases of premature babies, the stay is typically 4-6 weeks so these spaces demand an intimate and spiritual component apart from a typical room. EAPC has been privileged with designing NICU spaces for 50 years resulting in the necessary experience and knowledge to be the Thought Leader for these critical spaces.

With the current need of more neonatal space in central and western North Dakota, Sanford Health in Bismarck has taken great steps to correct this circumstance by announcing their newest project of doubling the size of their neonatal intensive care services. With a generous donation of $500,000 made by Mark and Claudia Thompson, the amount was matched through an endowment campaign totaling $1 million. EAPC is excited to be the designer for this NICU expansion that will increase beds from 12 to 24 and provide 18 private rooms for families to spend time with baby. During this time, parents and family will enjoy the privacy needed to bond with their newborn and establish a sense of home.

The Sanford Health NICU expansion of private rooms, each providing abundant natural light, will include space for new technology equipment such as NicView, a small camera system placed at the baby’s designated bed space providing live video streaming 24 hours a day. Other unique and special design elements include pull-out sofas and rockers to accommodate parents spending the night or visiting with their infant, dedicated rooms for twins to allow families to stay together during care, parent sleep rooms for when they cannot sleep in the room but do not want to be far away, and family living rooms designed for special times when a family needs additional space and privacy with family and friends.

The expanded Sanford Health neonatal intensive care services is expected to open in the summer of 2019.