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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University Health begins caring for premature babies in their newly renovated Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Tuesday.

The multimillion dollar renovation took three years. The previous NICU was built when the hospital was build, in 1976, and hadn’t been updated since then.

The hospital says the NICU is vital when a baby is born prematurely or with other critical needs, and it should have the best care available.

The new building adds individual private suites with 29 beds available to treat the smallest babies.

“What’s important is these are the most vulnerable children in our community. Out community came forward and took care of this and make sure that they had a great place to get a start and a great state in life, and that’s what today’s all about,” Charlie Shields, University Health President, said.

Teams at University Health delivered 3,100 babies last year alone. As many as 700 babies are treated in the NICU every year, according to the hospital.

The health system said the NICU was possible by donations from the community. It said it also received a $10 million donation from the Sunderland Foundation.

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