Providence Holy Cross Medical Center opened its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Tuesday, the final piece of a $180 million expansion project.


The 12-bed, state-of-the-art NICU is the first for high-risk newborns in the northeastern Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. It is designed to encourage family interaction within a private setting.

“This is the realization of a long-time vision to provide care for babies born premature or with other serious conditions,” said Dr. David Solarte, neonatologist and medical director of the NICU. “There was nothing more heartbreaking than when we had to transfer infants to other hospitals while their mothers were recovering from childbirth at Providence Holy Cross. Now the babies and mothers can stay together.”

The NICU specializes in treating premature infants and babies with conditions including jaundice, respiratory distress and neonatal infections. For the past several years, most of the smallest and most seriously ill newborns required transfer to hospitals with NICUs, including those at Providence Tarzana and Providence Saint Joseph.