Specialized Care for our Smallest Patients

The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at our Women & Infant’s Center provides the area’s most specialized care for the smallest patients, from premature infants to sick “term” newborns. As a Level III NICU, we can care for babies born as early as 22 weeks gestation.

The region's only neonatologists - pediatricians with many additional years of subspecialty training in the care of newborns - work in the hospital full-time, focused exclusively on the care of the most fragile infants.

They are assisted by an experienced nursing staff, pediatric therapists, pharmacists, and dieticians dedicated to the physical and developmental needs of babies. In addition, a licensed social worker is available at all times to assist with any parent/patient and family needs.

This specialized expertise, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, provides the region's highest level of neonatal intensive care. Parents, grandparents, and other family members of NICU babies are encouraged to read “What to Expect in the NICU.”


  • 24/7 care from highly-trained Neonatologists.
  • Specially-trained nursing care, respiratory support, and 24 hour a day monitoring.
  • Medical management in our 17-bed Level III NICU and 10 beds in the Continuing Care Nursery.
  • Treatment for critically-ill term babies who require oscillator ventilation and nitric oxide for pulmonary hypertension.
  • Neonatal transport to EIRMC within 150-mile radius, under direction of Board-certified neonatologist and specialized flight and ground transport teams.
  • Neonatal regional referral center for southeast Idaho, western Wyoming, and southern Montana.

Specialists and Staff


Neonatologists Drs. Robert Cheatham, Jonathan Lawrence, and Elizabeth O'Donnell  (Board Certified in Neonatology and Pediatrics) collaborate with EIRMC’s experienced perinatologists, OB/GYNs, and pediatricians on high-risk cases. They provide consultation on high-risk pregnancies, are bedside at delivery, and monitor development after birth.


Our NICU is staffed by nearly 50 RNs with national certifications in neonatal care and most with 10+ years of experience.

Supporting Interdisciplinary Teams

We have all the interdisciplinary staff needed to support neonatal care: a Board-Certified lactation consultant; respiratory, occupational, physical, and speech therapists; registered dietitians; lab technicians; licensed social workers; and transport teams.

Transport Teams

Our neonatal transport nurses are RNs who have training in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS); Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP); and Sugar & Safe Care, Temperature, Airway, Blood Pressure, Lab work, Emotional Support (STABLE).

Our Specialized Care

Maternal and Fetal Care

  • preterm labor
  • preterm rupture of membranes
  • severe pregnancy-induced hypertension or other hypertensive complications
  • antepartum hemorrhage
  • multiple gestation
  • malpresentation
  • medical complications of pregnancy (e.g., diabetes, renal disease, hepatitis)
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • fetal abnormalities
  • inadequate progress in labor

Newborn Care

  • all gestational ages, especially 34 weeks or younger (due to high likelihood of feeding difficulties and respiratory problems)
  • low birth weight
  • severe infection
  • feeding difficulties
  • persistent respiratory distress
  • minor congenital malformations requiring special diagnostic procedures or treatments
  • sequelae of hypoxic ischemic events with persistent evidence of multisystem organ dysfunction