LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 15, 2016) – Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and Conway Regional Health System (CRHS) announced today an affiliation agreement that creates a pediatric nursery alliance between the hospitals. The Arkansas Children’s Nursery Alliance puts into place coordination of care between neonatologists at ACH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and physicians in Conway Regional’s NICU and newborn nursery to help further improve the quality of newborn care.
Neonatologists at ACH will provide immediate consults to physicians at CRHS, educational support, quality data review, implementation of best practices in collaboration with ACH, and provide training through telemedicine for the purpose of improving neonatal care close to home and provide support as needed to help the babies at CRHS or at ACH get the best care possible. In addition, the alliance will offer development of opportunities to track and monitor outcomes and participation in ongoing research. Formal processes for coordinated care prior to Angel One Transport when a Level IV NICU is needed will be instituted, plus post discharge follow-up by monitoring and measuring late morbidities through an expanded High Risk Newborn Clinic network.
“Arkansas Children’s is creating a statewide network of care in order to deliver the right care at the right time close to home for the children of this state,” said Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “Today, we introduce the first nursery alliance in Arkansas that focuses specifically on neonatal care by partnering with local hospitals. It begins right here, right now at Conway Regional. Together, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Conway Regional Health System will ensure Arkansas’ newborns get better today and can be healthier tomorrow.”
Arkansas Children’s Hospital operates the state’s only designated Level IV NICU (100 beds), the highest level of acute care, and has access to pediatric specialists from all disciplines. CRHS manages a 24-bed Level I nursery, including an 8-bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“There is no greater joy than the birth of a child and no greater stress than when your child’s health is compromised,” said Matt Troup, president and CEO of Conway Regional Health System. “Our hospital employs exemplary physicians, but we also realize the expertise we can provide to the babies and families of Faulkner County by associating ourselves with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and providing that care right here in Conway. Expectant parents across Faulkner County have put their trust in Conway Regional for decades because of the exceptional care we provide and now they can also expect a world-class level of expertise for those times when their newborns might need it.”
Conway Regional is the first hospital to be part of the Arkansas Children’s Nursery Alliance, which is expected to expand and include other hospitals across the state in the coming years. Dr. Alan Lucas will be the medical director of the nursery alliance at Conway Regional Health System. The hospital delivered more than 1,800 babies in 2015.
Through the Arkansas Children’s Nursery Alliance agreement, ACH supports CRHS to help ensure the care families count on close to home continues in their nursery. Should CRHS neonates require Level IV NICU care, Arkansas Children’s Angel One Transport will be available for transport to ACH in Little Rock.
The neonatal period is specific to the first four weeks after birth (neonate or newborn), a time when changes happen rapidly. Many critical changes can occur in this period: Feeding patterns are established; bonding between parents and infant begin; the risk of infections that may become more serious are higher; and many birth or congenital defects are first noted. This care is usually centered around newborn infants with a range of problems, varying between prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations and surgical problems.
Arkansas Children’s, Inc. is the only health system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows the organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. The system includes a 359-bed hospital in Little Rock with the state’s only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center, burn center, Level IV neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care, and research institute as well as a nationally-recognized transport service. It is one of the 25 largest children’s hospitals in the United States and is nationally ranked by U.S. News World & Report in pulmonology and neonatal care. A sister campus is under development in Northwest Arkansas and will bring 233,613 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, clinic rooms and diagnostic services to children in that corner of the state. Arkansas Children’s also blankets the state with outreach programs that include telemedicine, mobile health, and school-based health solutions. A private not-for-profit, Arkansas Children’s boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking research and is committed to providing every child with access to the best care available, regardless of location or resources. Founded as an orphanage, Arkansas Children’s has championed children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow for more than 100 years. For more info, visit archildrens.org.
Conway Regional Health System provides complete health care services to the growing communities of north Central Arkansas including Faulkner, Conway, Perry, Van Buren and Cleburne counties. Centered on a 154-bed acute care medical center, the health system provides patients with a variety of services. To learn more, visit www.conwayregional.org.
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