Rowan Regional Partners With Wake Forest Baptist To Help Newborns Needing Extra Care

November 13, 2007

Rowan Regional Medical Center has partnered with Brenner Children's Hospital at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to utilize their Neonatal Critical Care Transport Team to optimize care for newborns and their families in Rowan County.

Brenner's Critical Care Transport Team will be stationed daily at Rowan Regional Medical Center, assisting physicians in the hospital to deliver care for newborn infants and their mothers. The team, consisting of a registered nurse, respiratory therapist, and driver, are specially trained in critical care of the neonatal and pediatric patient.

The partnership means that families needing a higher level of care for their newborns can get it in a much quicker time, said RRMC Vice President of Patient Care Services Edwina Ritchie.

"The response time is basically cut in half since we have the ambulance equipped as mobile critical care unit stationed here at the hospital," Ms. Ritchie said. "This expedites transfers of those infants who need a higher level of care." The family's physician would determine if a special transport is needed to Brenner Children's Hospital.

Brenner Children's Hospital houses the region's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Level IV is the highest level a NICU can achieve and means that both neonatologists and pediatric surgeons are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help with the care of newborns.

"By expediting care of a critically-ill newborn, our experts are able to address issues immediately and begin a treatment plan for the child and their family," said Lori J. Brown, vice president of administration at Brenner Children's Hospital. "Our pediatric specialists work in teams with other specialists to ensure that every aspect of a child's care is addressed. At Brenner, our mission is family-centered care. We want the family involved in every decision regarding their newborn's health. They are part of our healthcare team."

Brenner Children's Hospital is a tertiary referral center for 20 counties in Northwest North Carolina, with over 120 pediatric specialists in more than 38 areas of pediatric medicine. Rowan Regional Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit acute care hospital in Salisbury that has over 165 active physicians representing more than 35 medical specialties.

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