Changes coming to Phoenix Children's Hospital NICU

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A big change is coming to one Valley hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. Phoenix Children’s Hospital currently rents the NICU at Banner Good Samaritan but, now after 30 years, that lease is being terminated.

"Our NICU there was honored by US News as one of the top 50 in the country so it has been a very positive experience," said Debra Stevens with Phoenix Children’s Hospital. 

But that NICU will be changing hands. 

"Banner Health took issue with our recent strategic alliance with Dignity Health of Arizona," Stevens said.

"That is not comfortable or tenable for us so we elected to terminate the lease," said Bill Byron with Banner.

And on Monday, that decision was made public.

"We have been notifying our nurses and physicians we'll be closing that NICU," Stevens said.

But Banner Good Samaritan has no plans to actually let that NICU close.

"More than 5,400 babies are born at Banner Good Samaritan every year, obviously this NICU is an important service," Byron said. "The people in that NICU provide outstanding care and all will be offered jobs with Banner Good Samaritan in the NICU."

The idea is to make this transition seamless, not only for staff, but patients too.

"The most important thing is for families to know their care will be seamless," Stevens said. "They will be treated by the same physicians and same nurses and same staff who have loved and cared for them all along in their stay at Phoenix Children's. That will not change."

Banner Good Sam would like to have this transition complete by the end of the quarter.