Andrew and Laurin Hosford with baby Daniel. (Photos by Charlie Gessell)
Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely and this
number is growing. In fact, preterm birth complications are the leading
cause of death among children under the age of 5 years old. But thanks
to incredible advances in technology, many of these babies have a second chance.
At Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital’s UCSF Intensive Care Nursery, specialists
are able to care for the most fragile, critically-ill newborns. As a result,
the department was recently designated a Community Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit (NICU) by California Children’s Services (CCS). To receive
the Community NICU designation, the nursery had to be equipped to treat
a wide range of severe medical complications that can affect both premature
and full-term infants, such as respiratory failure, neonatal sepsis and
When Andrew and Laurin Hosford’s baby, Daniel, was born at Santa
Rosa Memorial Hospital in April 2015, they had no idea he would end up
in the NICU. But circumstances led Daniel to be born a few weeks premature,
and as a result, he had severe breathing problems and jaundice.
“The entire team at Santa Rosa Memorial was just wonderful,”
says Laurin. “Dr. Alan Shotkin and Dr. [George] Franco were great
about clearly explaining everything that was going on. Despite having
a sick baby, I felt comfortable, informed and cared for. The lactation
nurse, Pam [Boyd-Decoite] was also helpful and encouraging.”
“We’ve always been proud of the excellent neonatal care that
we offer at
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital,” says
Alan Shotkin, MD neonatologist and medical director of the Intensive Care Nursery. “Our
nursery is a key part of the hospital’s mission to support the infants,
new parents and families within our community. This means supplementing
our medical care with other resources, such as a place for parents to
stay overnight while their baby is in the hospital and support for breastfeeding
Andrew Hosford watches over baby Daniel, who received care in Memorial's
Intensive Care Nursery. The ICN offers the highest level of neonatal care
in the North Bay.
At Memorial, the ICN benefits from a team of board-certified or board-eligible
pediatricians who are available 24 hours a day, as well as nurses and
respiratory therapists who are certified in the Neonatal Resuscitation
Program (NRP). A close working relationship with UCSF Benioff Children’s
Hospital provides additional resources, such as telemedicine and pediatric
specialists when they are needed.
Laurin, who was born at Santa Rosa Memorial herself, feels connected to
the hospital, as most of the women in her family have delivered there.
Also, it was where her grandmother worked as a labor and delivery nurse
“A nurse named Wendy [Peterson] recognized my maiden name, and it
turns out she worked with my grandma Ida,” Laurin says. “It
was quite a coincidence.”
After baby Daniel spent seven days in the NICU, his breathing improved
and his jaundice cleared. Needless to say, Laurin and her husband, Andrew,
were happy to take him home.
“There simply aren’t enough good things I can say about the
nurses and doctors at Memorial,” Laurin says. “I’m very
grateful for their efforts.”
Learn more about
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Learn more about
Dr. Alan Shotkin.