Ascension St. John Hospital - Mary Ann Van Elslander NICU and Special Care Nursery | Ascension
Ascension St. John Hospital - Mary Ann Van Elslander NICU and Special Care Nursery

Ascension St. John Hospital - Mary Ann Van Elslander NICU and Special Care Nursery

  • Pediatrics
  • Birthing center


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About Us

Mary Ann Van Elslander NICU and Special Care Nursery at St. John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, provides advanced, high-level care for newborns.

At Ascension St. John Hospital we have a Level III, 32-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Special Care Nursery. Our highly knowledgeable board-certified neonatologists and neonatal nurses care for the sickest babies and provide lifesaving treatments. As a regional referral center, babies from southern and eastern Michigan come to this hospital and NICU for critical care. 

If you are being monitored for a high-risk pregnancy, our care team creates a maternal-fetal and neonatal care plan with your doctor to prepare for the birth and any possible emergencies. Our NICU and Special Care Nursery is prepared and ready.

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With more than 40 years of experience, Ascension St. John is a leader in newborn medicine. We currently have the only Level III NICU on Detroit’s east side. The generous support of more than 600 donors enables the Mary Ann Van Elslander NICU and Special Care Nursery to have the latest newborn care and technology.

Mary Ann Van Elslander NICU at Ascension St. John Hospital 

  • 32 private nurseries (double in size from our former unit)
  • Additional space for multiples
  • Reduced light and sound disturbances
  • Enhanced privacy and safety
  • Overnight accommodations for family

Our family-centered approach to care involves you at every step and educates you about the critical your baby needs:

  • Continuous life support to take over bodily functions when organs are not yet working.
  • Incubators that closely reproduce the intrauterine environment
  • Advanced neonatal ventilators that breathe for babies too tiny to breathe on their own. 

Ascension St. John Special Care Nursery at the Birthing Center 

Some newborns need immediate care after the birth or close nursing observation after being in the NICU, due to minor breathing problems or infections. Our six, spacious, semi-private cubicles and two private rooms include state-of-the-art cardio-respiratory monitoring systems, dual incubator and warmer beds, ventilators, and a new infant security system. We encourage families to participate in your baby’s care and to stay together as much as possible.

The time your baby spends in the Special Care Nursery depends on many factors. Once the infant no longer needs constant nursing care and monitoring, mother and child may stay together at the Birthing Center in preparation for your trip home. 
Neonatal Diagnostics and Pediatric Subspecialists

Ascension St. John Hospital has a full range of onsite pediatric subspecialists, advanced lab testing, and medical imaging (CT, MRI, and ECHO cardiac imaging) with interpretation on an urgent basis. Pediatric surgical specialists are available when timely interventions are needed. 
TLC Support Program for NICU families

Former NICU parent volunteer help and support current NICU families.  Our parent-to-parent support program offers families time to talk in person or by phone. They lead NICU tours and stock a substantial lending library on newborn medicine conditions, parenting and related topics.