MORGANTOWN – A $1 million gift from Justin Thompson and family will support life-saving specialty care for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.
The state-of-the-art Justin Thompson and Family Neonatal ICU will occupy the seventh floor of the new 150-bed, nine-story hospital under construction next to WVU Medicine’s J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. The Thompson family’s generosity will allow the unit to expand from 39 beds to 50 – with nine dedicated rooms for twins – to provide complex comprehensive care for more premature and/or critically ill babies than ever before.
“We are excited to partner with Justin Thompson and his family to support our youngest and sickest patients,” Amy L. Bush, B.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., C.N.O.R., chief operating officer for WVU Medicine Children’s, said. “The Thompson family’s gift will help us build a top-notch facility and attract world-class neonatal experts to ensure that West Virginia families never have to leave the state for the care they need.”
Now housed on the sixth floor of Ruby Memorial, the NICU serves more than 700 babies a year and operates at or near capacity year-round. Women with high-risk pregnancies often turn to WVU Medicine Children’s because of its expertise in treating vulnerable newborns. About 70 percent of babies born or transferred to WVU Medicine Children’s are classified as high risk – more than seven times the national average. Some patients weigh less than a pound and require care for more than a year.
In August, the NICU will move from Level III status to Level IV – the highest possible designation based on guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. WVU Medicine Children’s is the only hospital in West Virginia to achieve Level IV status.
The change reflects an expansion of services in preparation for the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, which will offer the greatest range of pediatric specialty and high-risk maternal care services in West Virginia and the surrounding region.
Thompson – a West Virginia native who now resides with his family in Louisville, Kentucky – is eager to help Mountain State babies in need.
“I am both humbled and honored to be a part of such a wonderful development for the great state of West Virginia,” Thompson said. “Knowing this donation helps support many West Virginia families who need lifesaving and time sensitive care for their children, while remaining in the state, is remarkable. Traveling long distances for care can pose barriers for those seeking routine health needs and place others in need of time-sensitive treatment at risk. I proudly look forward to the growth of WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital and know the possibilities soon offered to those within the state and surrounding region, will be transformational.”
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Thompson briefly attended WVU Tech and earned a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is the CEO of Iron Senergy, LLC, an independent energy company that seeks to bridge fossil and renewable energy technologies.
His family’s gift bolsters the “Grow Children’s” capital campaign, which seeks to raise $60 million in private support for the new hospital and associated program improvements. To learn more about supporting this effort, call 304-598-4346 or visit WVUMedicine.org/GrowChildrens.
All gifts are made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.