Shyan Sun, M.D. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)


As a level III Regional Perinatal Center, the Shyan Sun, M.D. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) offers the latest treatments and modalities in the field to provide the most advanced care for more than 1,200 premature and ill newborns each year.

The NICU is housed in the state-of-the-art Cooperman Family Pavilion, making possible a once-in-a-generation expansion of the region’s leading Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Dedicated to nurturing the smallest and most fragile infants, there are neonatologists in-house at all times ready to deliver the best possible medical care.

Mothers who are at high risk for complications during pregnancy come to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (formerly Saint Barnabas Medical Center) for our specialized prenatal care and take comfort in the fact that, if their baby needs special care after birth, our NICU is among the best in the country and is equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of problems.

What Is Unique About the NICU?

When a premature infant enters the world at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, he or she immediately receives medical care by an attending neonatologist in the delivery room and later in the NICU. There are neonatologists in-house at all times (eight in the day time and two at night) ready to deliver the best possible medical care. And we offer rapid pediatric genetic testing that can help doctors identify whether an infant's symptoms can be attributed to a genetic disorder. As a result, the survival rate of the smallest and sickest babies is high and the morbidity rate is low compared to national and international data.

Under the direction of dual board-certified neonatologists and staffed by specialized neonatal intensive care nurses, the NICU Team works together to meet the common goal of providing safe, quality care.

Specialists in other pediatric subspecialties are available for prompt consultation and care, as are:

  • Physical therapists
  • Social workers
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pharmacists

Parents are encouraged to participate in their baby's care.

A team of social workers meet with each NICU family and offers a variety of family-centered programming, including a NICU Support Group.

Following discharge, high-risk NICU babies are seen on an outpatient basis by the neonatologists in the High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Program.

A developmental psychologist is also on staff for follow-up of overall developmental status.

Rapid Genetic Testing for Critically Ill Infants

Whole genome sequencing (or sequencing of all the genetic material of a person) can identify the root cause of rare genetic disorders and diseases in some of the sickest infants by a simple blood test.

Through a collaboration between Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM), we offer rapid Whole Genome Sequencing (rWGS) to help diagnose unexplained medical conditions in newborns and infants who need immediate intervention.

In most medically urgent cases, RCIGM delivers preliminary diagnoses in as little as 3 business days compared to standard testing that can take 4 to 6 weeks or more. Doctors can then provide a precise diagnosis and administer targeted, sometimes lifesaving care at a time when the therapeutic window is often very small.

Vermont Oxford Network

Each month, VON-member hospitals report their mortality and morbidity data (60 items) for each patient to the central office. In return, the office sends to each individual hospital a detailed quarterly report comparing the performance of each individual hospital. As a result, member hospitals have a benchmark of data to compare and each NICU strives to be the best performer among the network hospitals.

In addition to being an active member of VON, the Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center NICU has participated in the National-Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Collaborative for Neonatology since 1999. This Collaborative consists of an elite group of 53 VON member hospitals that work closely together to develop potentially better practices using an evidence-based approach. The collaboration helps improve quality of care and the outcomes of survivors.

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Patient Stories

  • I am also grateful to all the CBMC staff. I am grateful to the doctors who sat on my bed and let me cry because I was separated from my newborn baby. Thank you to the L&D nurses that asked how the baby was every time I came back to my hospital room.

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  • We think it’s a little bit of NICU Magic that these two have found such a beautiful friendship and we hope it lasts forever!

    Anna & Cooper
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  • We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges.

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Patient Stories

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