JONESBORO, Ark. – St. Bernards Medical Center, the only facility with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) east of Little Rock, announced on Monday a nearly 20 percent expansion of its NICU bed capacity.
The significant enhancement comes thanks to The Luke Kellums NICU Fund, a local nonprofit established by Dustin and Callie Kellums in memory of their prematurely born son, Luke, who passed away within weeks of his birth.
The Kellums initiated “Flags Across Jonesboro,” an endeavor aiming to fund NICU projects at St. Bernards.
“We had exceptional care during our stay in the St. Bernards NICU,” said Callie. “Our mission is to support parents and children facing similar challenges.”
The couple expressed gratitude towards the Jonesboro community, whose support has been pivotal in realizing their vision.
“This project and gift to support the expansion would not be possible without support from donors – family, friends and people who may not know us or our story, but know how important the NICU is to this community,” said Dustin.
Emily McGee, St. Bernards Vice President of Women’s and Children’s Services, emphasized the unit’s critical role.
“We’re the sole NICU in this part of Arkansas. It’s heart-wrenching to inform a family in need that we don’t have room. This expansion allows us to accommodate more families and their newborns,” she noted.
St. Bernards’ Level 3A NICU is equipped to care for infants as young as 28 weeks and weighing a minimum of 2.2 pounds. The facility boasts a comprehensive team, from neonatologists to dedicated nursing professionals, ensuring round-the-clock care. To date, over 2,500 infants have benefited from their services.
Details about the NICU are available at: St. Bernards NICU. For inquiries, please dial 870.207.7300.