(ORANGE, Calif., March 25, 2019) -- CHOC Children’s today
announced a $5 million gift from the William, Jeff and Jennifer
Gross Family Foundation to expand its Small Baby Unit (SBU) on
its main hospital campus. Opened in 2010, the SBU focuses on
caring for the unique needs of the smallest and sickest babies.
Designed for infants born at less than 28 weeks gestation or
weighing less than 1,000 grams, it is the only unit of its kind
The donation from the foundation founded by asset manager Bill
Gross, his son and daughter will support building out shelled
space on the fourth floor of the hospital’s Bill Holmes Tower.
CHOC is in the early planning stages of the expansion which will
include between 20-24 beds in an environment of private rooms.
No additional details are currently available.
"We’re thrilled to support CHOC Children’s and their efforts to
improve care for the tiniest, most fragile newborns in our
region through the expansion of their Small Baby Unit. CHOC
changes many lives every day and is truly a world class
children’s hospital. We're honored to be a part of it,” says
Located in CHOC’s North Tower, CHOC’s current SBU features two
four-bed pods and four individual rooms, of which two are
fully functional operating suites. Different from a traditional
NICU, this smaller unit allows for a darker, quieter environment
that encourages developmentally supportive care. The goal is to
create an environment that respects and supports the physiologic
needs of the baby to grow and develop after being born so
prematurely. Grouping this population also provides parents an
opportunity to form strong bonds with other families sharing
Outcomes from the two years before and four years after the
SBU’s opening in 2010 include:
Reduction in chronic lung disease from 47.5 percent to 35.4
percent. A common condition for premature babies, chronic lung
disease can have long-lasting ramifications including
re-hospitalization and poor neurodevelopment.
Rate of hospital-acquired infection decreased from 39.3 percent
to 19.4 percent.
Infants being discharged with growth restriction (combined
weight and head circumference, < 10th percentile) decreased from
62.3 percent to 37.3 percent. (These factors are linked to
cognitive and physical disabilities.)
Reduction in laboratory tests (from 224 to 82) and X-rays (from
45 to 22).
Additionally, there was a reduction in illness and complications
among infants after leaving the SBU.
“We are proud of the outcomes we’ve seen in the 400 babies who
have ‘graduated’ from our Small Baby Unit and want to continue
to enhance the care we deliver to these patients and their
families. We are grateful for the William, Jeff and Jennifer
Gross Family Foundation’s generous support, which will allow us
to serve even more very low birth weight babies in the future,”
says Dr. Vijay Dhar, medical director, neonatal intensive care
unit, CHOC Children’s.