Together, the Division of Neonatology and Alberta Health Services’ Northern Alberta Neonatal Program care for infants who require special medical or surgical attention, including extremely premature newborns and those with cardiac diseases. The program operates Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and intermediate care nurseries in four hospitals in Edmonton.
To support its high-risk obstetrics program, the Royal Alexandra Hospital operates the largest NICU in Western Canada, with 69 beds. The 15-bed David Schiff Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Alberta Hospital provides care for newborn babies who need specialized surgical and cardiovascular services. Additionally, Covenant Health operates two intermediate care nurseries at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital and the Misericordia Community Hospital.
The Northern Alberta Neonatal Program accepts referrals from northern Alberta, northern British Columbia, western Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. There are over 25,000 deliveries per year in this catchment area and 3,000 admissions annually to the program’s four clinical sites. Each year more than 500 newborns from outside the region are transferred, by ground or air, by a specialized neonatal transport team of highly trained nurses and respiratory therapists.