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BusINess » Health Care » New neonatal unit’s first patient goes home

New neonatal unit’s first patient goes home

Father David Petersen holds a gift basket presented to him and his wife by Jillian Hanger, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit manager, shown standing behind him. Mother Lauren Petersen holds Avery, the unit’s first patient, as Dr. Rashmi Aggarwal, left, and Dr. Sudish Chandra, neonatal medical director, look on.

Father David Petersen holds a gift basket presented to him and his wife by Jillian Hanger, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit manager, shown standing behind him. Mother Lauren Petersen holds Avery, the unit’s first patient, as Dr. Rashmi Aggarwal, left, and Dr. Sudish Chandra, neonatal medical director, look on.

The first patient treated in Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has gone home with a basketful of gifts and well wishes.

Avery Petersen, daughter of Lauren and David Petersen, of Valparaiso, was born at Franciscan St. Anthony on March 6 and was brought to the neonatal unit on March 7, its first day of operation. She was born at 34 weeks, six days; was 18 inches in length and weighed five pounds, 11 ounces, according to her mother. Avery has a brother, Elliott, aged 3 ½.

Jillian Hanger, unit manager, presented the family with a gift basket on behalf of the staff on March 18, the day before the infant went home. Among its contents were developmental toys, books, sun screen, a blanket, a sleep-sack and a wrist rattle.

Besides nursing staff, also on hand to bid farewell were Dr. Sudish Chandra, neonatal unit medical director, and Dr. Rashmi Aggarwal, a neonatal physician.

Asked why the parents chose Franciscan St. Anthony Health for their child’s birth, Lauren Petersen said, “We’ve heard nothing but good things about St. Anthony from friends and others.’’

Construction of the 12-bed neonatal unit, located in the hospital’s seventh-floor obstetrics unit, called The Birth Place, began in October and was completed in February. Its $2.5 million cost was funded by the Franciscan St. Anthony Capital Campaign, which also financed construction of a new complex at 1121 S. Indiana Ave. to house St. Clare Health Clinic and the Prenatal Assistance Program, which opened in May. Both programs provide free services for underinsured and uninsured area residents.

For more information on the neonatal unit, call (219) 681-6863.

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