PENSACOLA — The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart invites former patients and families of its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to the annual NICU reunion on Sept. 30.

The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart offers the area’s only Level III NICU. The NICU admits more than 1,000 babies each year, with about 80 percent born prematurely, defined as being born between two and 16 weeks early.

The Children’s Hospital maintains two specially equipped mobile neonatal critical care transport ambulances for the transfer of premature and critically ill newborns from other hospitals across Northwest Florida to The Children’s Hospital. The average length of stay in the NICU is 18 days.

This annual event is an opportunity for families to reconnect with the nurses, doctors and team members who cared for them throughout their journey, as well as with the other families with whom they may have grown close.

Organizers encourage NICU reunion guests to dress up in candy-themed costumes and enjoy games, story time, crafts and snacks, as well as indoor and outdoor play areas.

The event will take place in the Greenhut Auditorium at Sacred Heart Hospital, 5151 N. Ninth Ave. in Pensacola. Organizers advise guests to use the Ninth Avenue parking garage.