Orillia’s new pediatrics and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is ready for patients.

A ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of $2.7 million in renovations to the NICU at Orillia’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

“This is an exciting day for our hospital and the patients and families who rely on us for care,” said Dr. Michelle Gordon, Chief of neonatal and pediatric medicine in a statement. 

Work began on the unit in May of last year. Patients will be transferred to the unit next Tuesday.

The unit already provides life changing care to more than 200 babies a year across northern Simcoe County and Muskoka.

The Holmes family knows firsthand the importance the unit has. Five years ago they lost their daughter just hours after she was born.

"The care we received was phenomenal. I don't know that any other hospital could compare to it and that's why we chose to have our two sons here as well," says Mallory Holmes.

The size of the unit has nearly doubled, and the hospital has added new equipment. This includes 12 beds and private rooms.

“While our program has grown over the decades, the physical space we’ve had to work in has remained relatively the same. Thanks to community support, we now have a much more modern work space that will afford families the privacy they deserve and provide clinical staff with room to maneuver.”

The Holmes family will host Charlee's Run on April 29 at Couchiching Beach Park. All the money raised will go back to the NICU.