State Approves Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Overlake Hospital Medical Center

Bellevue, Wash. - Overlake Hospital Medical Center received the Washington State Department of Health’s approval to provide level III neonatal intensive care nursery services to sick and premature babies on the Eastside.

Bellevue, Wash. - Overlake Hospital Medical Center received the Washington State Department of Health’s approval to provide level III neonatal intensive care nursery services to sick and premature babies on the Eastside. Previously, these babies had to be separated from their mothers and taken to another hospital with a higher-level NICU.

The approval of the level III NICU will now give families the additional security of knowing that advanced, high-technology care, such as ventilators and other special equipment and services, are available on site for their small, premature or sick baby.

Construction crews just finished the $800,000 remodel of the hospital’s Level II special care nursery that will now allow for the expansion of the level III NICU. This remodel is expanding the unit from the conventional concept of a “multiple-patient room intensive care unit” to 14 private, high-risk infant care areas, complete with a foldout bed for parent comfort, refrigerator, family conference room, and more features to accommodate a lengthy stay.

“As the Level III Trauma Center on the Eastside it is natural for Overlake to be providing the high quality care associated with a level III NICU,” states Ken Graham, Overlake Hospital president and CEO. “Overlake’s Childbirth Center is a vital resource for families. Just last year our highly trained nurses and physicians helped bring more than 3,500 babies into the world, and out of that number more than 300 required the additional services of our special care nursery.”

To help provide this advanced medical care to premature and sick babies, Overlake Hospital and Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center have entered into an alliance which will support the expansion of neonatal services at Overlake Hospital. Children’s, which currently offers after hours and specialty services for children in the medical tower on Overlake’s campus, will provide staffing by neonatal nurse practitioners and neonatology physicians for Overlake’s NICU.

“We are very pleased to be working with Overlake to increase the availability of neonatal services for sick and premature infants through a level III nursery at Overlake. We believe that this relationship will greatly enhance opportunities to improve care for children and their families on the Eastside,” said Dr. Sandy Melzer, a pediatrician and vice president at Children’s Hospital.

Overlake also has a working relationship with University of Washington Academic Medical Center (UWAMC) to expand high-risk perinatology services on the Overlake campus. The UWAMC will assume medical directorship of high-risk inpatient perinatal obstetrics at Overlake, allowing more women with difficult pregnancies the option to stay closer to home.

For a tour of the Childbirth Center, please call 425-688-5326 or visit the Overlake Hospital website for dates and times,

About Overlake Hospital Medical Center

Overlake Hospital Medical Center is a 337-bed, not-for-profit voluntary regional medical center offering a full range of advanced medical services to the Puget Sound region. Overlake is the only Level III Trauma Center in the eastern Puget Sound area. The hospital is distinguished for its cardiac services and its award winning surgical services. Overlake has been ranked as a top 100 heart program in the country and is rated as a top performer in the state of Washington. Overlake is also rated as one of the most wired innovator hospitals and health systems in the nation. Major service areas include: cardiac surgery, cardiology, surgical services, a cancer center, women’s and children’s services, a childbirth center, behavioral health, senior care, a sleep disorders center and a women’s clinic. Overlake Hospital Medical Center employs more than 2,100 people and has more than 700 active and courtesy physicians on staff. For more information, visit the hospital’s website at

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.