• Connect With Us

Northern Virginia Magazine Article

By Brian Stone, MD, MBA, Chief of Neonatology, Virginia Hospital Center

Annually, more than 15 million babies are born prematurely around the world, and prematurity is the No. 1 cause of death in newborns.

To learn more about premature birth and what you need to know, CLICK HERE.

Pregnancy & Childbirth

Number One in the Country
Neonatal Intensive Care

When you deliver a healthy baby at Virginia Hospital Center, you may choose to have your newborn stay with you in your room—complete with daybed for your spouse, partner or another support person to stay over as you wish—or in the nursery. At those times when your son or daughter is in the nursery, he or she will be cared for by nursing professionals who administer medical care and tenderness in equal measure. It is completely at your discretion how frequently, and at what length, the baby stays in your room versus in the nursery.

Premature babies, those who become ill after birth or newborns with other special needs are cared for in the Marjorie Sands Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Classified as a Level III B NICU per the American Academy of Pediatrics, Virginia Hospital Center's facility offers private and semi-private accommodations, which allow parents to stay with their newborns even after mothers are discharged and ensure that babies' recovery and development are free of any unnecessary stimulation.

The Hospital's NICU is managed by board-certified neonatologists from the prestigious Children’s National Health System. The program consists of full-time, board-certified physicians, along with a Medical Director, neonatal nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The partnership between Virginia Hospital Center and Children’s National Health System allows neonatal patients in Northern Virginia to have access to pediatric subspecialty services at Children’s National Health System and provides collaborative research opportunities between the clinical research teams.

Board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and other highly qualified nurses and developmental specialists work collaboratively with parents to optimize the care these delicate patients receive.

Whether your newborn is in your room, the nursery or the NICU, you can rest assured that he or she is safe. An advanced security system that includes wristbands with radio-frequency identifiers, video surveillance, and secured doors - as well as vigilant staff monitoring - make certain that only the mother, the one person that she designates, or registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and patient care assistants who have successfully completed the infant identification competency and are wearing special Virginia Hospital Center identification specific to that unit may remove a baby from the nursery, the NICU or a patient's room.

More Rooms, Great Care for Our NICU Babies

Virginia Hospital Center has added four suites to The Marjorie Sands Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), expanding our capacity to serve newborns and their moms.

A major gift from Frank Sands, Sr. and his children has helped fund improvements to and expansion of the Hospital's NICU.

Read more



Children’s National Health System was named #1 for newborn intensive care in the U.S. News & World Report 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospital survey and ranked among the Top 10 children’s hospitals overall, plus named to the prestigious Honor Roll. The Honor Roll features the “best of the best” hospitals for kids in the country. Read more


Our Patients Say

“I had lost two babies before. My beautiful Yessenia was born at 31 weeks and weighed a little over 3 pounds. I love everybody in the NICU—the doctors and nurses gave her so much attention. She‘s thriving now.”
— Maria Comacho, Alexandria

Read more

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
© 2017 Virginia Hospital Center All rights reserved