Abrazo Arrowhead plans expansion for neonatal unit

Abrazo Arrowhead Campus nurses, physicians and leaders celebrated construction of the hospital’s neonatal care unit expansion with a mock “roofbreaking” ceremony. The addition will be built adjacent to the hospital’s second-floor Level IIIA perinatal care center, which will remain open during construction. (Abrazo Health/Submitted)

Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, one of the Valley’s premier destinations for maternity care, recently announced it is expecting a special delivery — a $14 million expansion of the hospital’s neonatal unit for preterm babies.

 More than 3,000 babies, including high order multiple births like triplets, are born every year at Abrazo Arrowhead.

“With this strategic expansion, Abrazo Arrowhead will be able to serve more families and keep moms and babies together in their community,” said Dr. Amit Agrawal, medical director of neonatology.

The 8,500-square-foot addition will increase the neonatal unit from 21 to 35 beds, as well as support enhanced capabilities to pursue certification as a higher Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for more complex maternal and neonatal medical conditions, obstetric and fetal complications.

“Abrazo Arrowhead provides outstanding care for high-risk mothers, and this significant investment will continue to advance our ability to deliver excellent quality care and outcomes for our patients,” said Dr. Ravi Gunatilake, medical director of maternal fetal medicine.

The new addition will be built adjacent to Abrazo Arrowhead’s existing Level IIIA perinatal care center. Expansion construction preparations are underway, with the project expected to be finished in late 2023. 

“Our existing nursery will continue to be open and available during construction,” Abrazo Arrowhead Campus CEO Stephen Garner said. “The expansion will allow our providers and caregivers to offer an even higher level and care for babies of all gestational ages after the new unit is certified by the state.” 

Abrazo Arrowhead is already certified to care for premature infants as young as 28 weeks’ gestation. Pursuit of the Level IIIB NICU certification means the hospital will be capable of providing complex care for babies of any gestational age, said Chief Nursing Officer Julie Bowman, MSN, BSN, RN.

“We are extremely proud of the high-quality care our existing clinical staff and community OB/GYNs provide, as well as around-the-clock coverage with neonatal specialists, laborists and an OB emergency department,” Bowman added. “We are pleased to be adding more physician subspecialty coverage and capabilities to enhance the care we provide for expectant families.”

Garner said the hospital continues to enhance its clinical services in addition to care for women and infants, including in heart and vascular, orthopedics and general surgery, among others.

“The future of Abrazo Arrowhead Campus is bright, and I am proud of our hospital’s commitment to increasing access to high-quality, specialty care closer to home for our Northwest Valley community,” he added.

For more information about Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, visit