PINE BLUFF, ARK. (March 27, 2018) – Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) announced today that it is joining the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Nursery Alliance in a move that will directly coordinate care between neonatologists at ACH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and physicians at JRMC in Pine Bluff. The collaboration takes neonatal care to a new level for South Arkansas babies.

Through the alliance, neonatologists at ACH will provide immediate consults to physicians at JRMC, as well as educational support, quality data review and implementation of best practices. The alliance also provides training through telemedicine for the purpose of enhancing neonatal care and creates support as needed to help the babies at JRMC or at ACH get the best care possible. Opportunities to track and monitor outcomes and research options are another benefit.

The collaboration addresses one of the state’s most vexing health problems: infant mortality. For every 1,000 babies born in the state, 8 die before their first birthdays.

“However, there is hope,” said Marcy Doderer, President and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “You see here today the shared commitment of Jefferson Regional and Arkansas Children’s, and how we plan to change the story for the tiniest of patients. Together, we will improve children’s health in this community, in Arkansas and beyond.”

JRMC is the second hospital member of the ACH Nursery Alliance, which was established in 2016 when Conway Regional Health System joined as the first hospital member.

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.

“We recognize and embrace collaboration between our health care organizations – all focused on providing exceptional care to our newborns, the future of our state,” said JRMC President & CEO Brian Thomas. “Through consultation, training, education with the neonatologists at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and collaboration with other hospital members, JRMC will improve its already outstanding level of care to families.”

Pediatrician Joann Mays, MD, of Pine Bluff will serve as medical director for the alliance at JRMC. Dr. Mays is a long-time member of the medical staff and serves on JRMC’s Board of Directors. In 2017 there were 800 deliveries at JRMC.

Through the Arkansas Children’s Nursery Alliance agreement, ACH will support JRMC to help ensure the care families count on close to home will continue in the nursery. Formal processes for coordinated care prior to transport should JRMC newborns require a higher level of care will be instituted, plus, post discharge follow-up by monitoring and measuring late morbidities through an expanded High Risk Newborn Clinic network.  

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 on newborn infants with a range of problems, varying between prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations and surgical problems.

About Jefferson Regional Medical Center

Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) is a not-for-profit organization, whose primary purpose is to provide healthcare to the citizens of South Arkansas. JRMC has a medical staff of more than 120 physicians, representing 25 different specialties ranging from family medicine to neurosurgery to wound care. JRMC was one of the first hospitals to join the Arkansas Trauma System. As a Level III Trauma Center, JRMC is part of the statewide network that connects hospitals, ambulance services, and other emergency responders so they can provide care as quickly as possible after a traumatic injury. JRMC is also a member of the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, a non-profit, horizontal hospital network comprised of rural hospitals in Southeast Arkansas. Together, the hospitals are working expand, nurture and provide resource programs throughout the Partnership's eight-county service area. Established in 1908, JRMC has grown to be one of the largest employers in Jefferson County with more than 1,500 employees at the hospital and its clinics. It serves residents of an 11 county area that includes Jefferson, Cleveland and Lincoln counties (primary service area) and Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Dallas, Desha, Drew and Grant counties (secondary service area). For more info, visit

About Arkansas Children’s

Arkansas Children’s, Inc. is the only health care 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 336-bed hospital in Little Rock with the state’s only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center, burn center, Level 4 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 cardiology/heart surgery, neurology/neurosurgery, nephrology and pulmonology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale includes 233,613 square feet of inpatient beds, emergency care, clinic rooms and diagnostic services. Arkansas Children’s also blankets the state with outreach programs that include telemedicine, mobile health and school-based health solutions. A private nonprofit, 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