A $5-million donation from a Calgary family is helping to fund a major expansion of neonatal intensive care unit beds at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.


The Alberta Children's Hospital will add about 14 new neonatal intensive care unit beds, thanks in part to a $5-million donation. (Bal Brach/CBC)

As many as 14 new NICU beds will be added to an undeveloped space on the fourth floor by next year, said Premier Alison Redford, who announced the project on Wednesday.

"While these new beds will improve care, reduce transfers and provide better access to specialists, the most important need they fulfill is allowing Alberta families to remain closer together during these critical times in a newborn’s life," she said.

Heather and N. Murray Edwards made the donation through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation for the project, which is pegged to cost $8.5-million in total.

The new beds will increase Level 3 NICU capacity — designed to care for the sickest and most critically ill newborns — by 56 per cent, the province said.

The new unit will be named the Edwards Family NICU.