We understand that admission of a newborn to a special care nursery can be overwhelming, especially in cases of unexpected complications. That’s why CHI Franciscan Health is proud to offer patients the reassurance of our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and a partnership with nationally-recognized Seattle Children’s Neonatology team, to bring world- class care to the South Sound.

Better care than ever for moms, babies and families

Our continuum of care means:

  • St. Joseph Medical Center can take care of the vast majority of the babies born at our Family Birth Centers, which means more infants born here with special medical needs can receive the expert care they need, close to home
  • The Level III NICU at St. Joseph is for critically ill newborns, preemies and fragile infants with special medical needs: those as young as 27 weeks gestation; and/or weighing as little as 1000 grams (or just over two pounds)
  • Seattle Children’s neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) provide round-the-clock care for premature and critically ill newborns at St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Highly skilled team of consulting specialists, highly trained RNs, dieticians, pharmacists and therapists specializing in neonates
  • The Franciscan Maternal Fetal Medicine program provides mothers with high-risk pregnancy initial screenings, first trimester scanning and consulting with our region's leading perinatology team – helping foresee any birthing or newborn challenges that lie ahead
  • Experienced nurses and onsite IBCLC certified lactation consultants make rounds daily and provide seamless care and comfort, assisting patients and fragile newborns with breastfeeding
  • Our established OB hospitalists offer enhanced safety and care by ensuring that a board-certified physician specializing in obstetrics is in the medical center—and immediately available at all times—24 hours a day, 365 days a year

The highest level of care for critical infants

Our Level III NICU supports all four of our Family Birth Centers at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw and Highline Medical Center in Burien. So no matter where you choose to have your baby, you are backed by a comprehensive team of compassionate and qualified providers and the complete resources of CHI Franciscan Health.

Priority care for mothers and babies

At Franciscan, all delivering mothers benefit from enhanced, patient-centered care, with choices that suit their needs and preferences before, during and after baby’s birth. When NICU and special care is needed for your family, we understand that updates on your newborn’s progress and time with your baby are most important. Our special care team works with you to understand your family’s wishes and attend to your baby’s individual care needs, while you have as much time with your baby as possible until he/she is ready to go home.