The Dale and Karen Sisel Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Brenner Children's is one of the largest and most comprehensive intensive care nurseries in North Carolina. Each year, more than 700 infants from throughout northwest North Carolina, southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee receive exceptional care from the doctors and other health care professionals at Brenner's NICU. 

As a Level IV NICU, our state-of-the-art, single-bed intensive care unit can care for babies born as young as 22 weeks gestational age with specialists that provide the best critical care for the tiniest, most vulnerable patients - giving them the best chance of surviving and thriving throughout their lives.

Our multidisciplinary team provides care for newborns with both congenital (before birth) and acquired (after birth) health conditions. This includes infants diagnosed with heart defects, infants born in respiratory distress and infants with infections, as well as many other neonatal health issues.

Our Team

Our NICU team includes neonatologists (medical doctors who specialize in the care of critically ill premature and full-term newborns), neonatology fellows (pediatricians training to be neonatologists), pediatric residents, neonatal nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians and pediatric pharmacists, all of whom are specially trained to provide critical care for babies. 

The NICU's central location ensures our patients have access to all the resources of Brenner Children's extensive health care network, including more than 120 multidisciplinary pediatric specialists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, lactation consultants, social workers, pastoral counselors, nutritionists, and pharmacists specially trained in neonatal medicine.

The Brenner Children's NICU is led by Jennifer Helderman, MD, who is the medical director for both the NICU and Brenner Children's intermediate nursery.