Opening day at the Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


Dr. Terri Ashmeade, USF associate professor of pediatrics and TGH chief of pediatrics, welcomes infant Logan Brigandi, held by mother Amanda, to his new room in the Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Dec. 3, 2010 — Earlier this week, physicians, nurses and other members of the clinical deployment team moved 44 of Tampa General Hospital’s tiniest patients into their new home at the Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  

The new facility, a partnership of USF Health and Tampa General, links the best and newest technology to care for sick and premature babies with a more comforting, nurturing environment for those babies and their families.

 The actual moving day, Nov 30, was preceded by an 18-month planning process involving the teamwork of the entire Medical and NICU staff, Respiratory Therapy, Biomed, IT/Communications, Facilities, Environmental Services and Nutrition Services, said Veronica Martin, vice president of Women’s & Children’s Services at TGH.

The first baby was successfully relocated at 7:37 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and the last baby was wheeled into place at 1:59 p.m., Martin said. “We also had one new admission from Labor and Delivery to the new unit at 9:20 a.m. during the moving process.”

Once the second phase is completed in Summer 2011, the new unit will have 82 individual neonatal beds, as well as a separate 12-bed transitional area.

Among those who helped make moving day a success were Martin, NICU nurse manager Pam Sanders, and medical staff members Dr. Lewis Rubin, Dr. Terri Ashmeade, Dr. Laura Haubner and Dr. Holley.

Pamela Muma, right, with Dr. Ashmeade, stopped by during the move. The new $35-million unit is funded in part by a $6-million gift from the Mumas and named in memory of the their daughter Jennifer Leigh Muma, who died in a neonatal nursery.

Tampa General nurses, l to r, BeBe LeViner, Kathy Stroud and Andrea Marazzi wheel a premature baby to the new Muma NICU.

The move of 44 premature babies into the new NICU was a highly coordinated team effort involving physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and many other clinical and support staff.

Infant Logan Brigandi and mom Amanda, left, with Veronica Martin, vice president of Women’s & Children’s Services at Tampa General.

The new “high-tech, high-touch” patient rooms create a more home-like setting for the babies and their families.

Photos by Hugh Jones, Tampa General Hospital staff photographer