The Dana Brown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

U.S. News & World Report ranking for NeonatologyThe Dana Brown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is home to 20 board-certified neonatologists, as well as a team of specially-trained residents and fellows, more than 200 nurses and 40 nurse practitioners, all dedicated to providing the most exceptional care for our tiniest patients.

The Dana Brown NICU is nationally recognized by the American Accreditation Healthcare Commission as a Neonatal Center of Excellence and a Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology by U.S. News and World Report. Our 65 all-private room unit provides comfort, privacy and the most personalized care possible.

Each year, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon participates in a number of collaborative and data-sharing initiatives geared toward improving key outcomes not only for our patients, but for babies in other parts of the country.



SSM Health Cardinal Glennon was the first hospital in the region to establish a TeleNICU program. Thanks to the advent of new technology and the widespread availability of broadband internet, our neonatologists provide expert evaluation and consultation for partner hospitals throughout the region, including those in southern Illinois and central Missouri. TeleNICU services allow babies to be evaluated at their birth hospital, keeping families together and often avoiding unnecessary transport to another hospital.


When a baby is in the NICU for an extended period of time, families struggle to regain their regular routine of employment, the care of other children and regular visits to the hospital to be with their baby. NicView is an innovative camera system that allows parents to view their baby in real-time, providing reassurance, comfort and peace of mind when they cannot be in the NICU.

Transport Team

If a baby does need to come to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, our specially-trained transport team is standing by 24/7 to stabilize and transport critically-ill newborns to our Level IV NICU. A nurse and respiratory therapist, both with extensive training in the care of newborns, accompany each baby coming to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. In certain instances, a physician may join the team as well.

Baby Steps Program

Many families whose babies are medically fragile experience significant physical, emotional and financial stress. These problems can be compounded by time away from home, limited financial resources and lack of social support.

The Baby Steps Program, coordinated by a licensed counseling professional, is a comprehensive, early intervention program for parents of babies in the NICU and provides education, counseling and emotional support, increasing their competency, resilience and confidence. As a result, parents are empowered to recognize stressful situations and are better equipped to handle them.

How Your Support Will Help

By supporting the Dana Brown NICU, you are helping us make a difference in the lives of children in the following ways:

Ongoing Technology Updates. As medical technology continues to evolve, equipment (large and small) must be periodically replaced. Donor support allows us to purchase everything from incubators to heart monitors and more.

Staff Education. Our dedicated caregivers benefit from attending conferences and continuing education opportunities to gain skills in the latest neonatal medicine techniques.

Baby Steps Program. Like many of the support services we provide at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, Baby Steps is not billable to insurance. Therefore, we rely on donor support to sustain this vital program that benefits more than 120 families every year.