Fetal Health Center provides enhanced continuity of care for infants with congenital defects
Presented by Howard Kilbride, MD, Division Director, Neonatology
With the opening of the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center, Children's Mercy joins the ranks of only a handful of children's
hospitals in the country to provide delivery service for infants who will be born with complex anomalies.
The Fetal Health Center, developed in conjunction with the University of Missouri–Kansas City, offers a perinatology clinic for
diagnostic and consultation services to pregnant women with identified fetal malformations, an integrated multidisciplinary care clinic
following diagnosis, a new Special Care Delivery Unit for high-risk newborns, and post-delivery neonatal and pediatric subspecialty care
in the Level IIIc Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Timothy Bennett, MD, and Howard Kilbride, MD,
are co-directors of the Elizabeth J. Ferrell Fetal Health Center. Dr. Bennett is a maternal/fetal
medicine specialist with 20 years of experience. Dr. Bennett also serves as Vice Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at
UMKC. Dr. Kilbride is Vice Chair of Perinatal Services and Neonatology Division Director at Children’s Mercy and Professor of Pediatrics at
UMKC School of Medicine.
The center's staff also includes Dev Maulik, MD, PhD, Chairman of the
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Basic Science and Senior Associate Dean of Women’s Health at the UMKC School of
Medicine; and David C. Mundy, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology
With the addition of delivery services for these mothers and their babies beginning in February 2011, Children's Mercy is among the first
freestanding children's hospitals in the country to provide delivery services within the hospital itself. High-risk babies are delivered
right in the hospital, offering opportunity for immediate provision of high-level pediatric and surgical services for the newborn and
eliminating the need for transport and the associated health risks. The program also allows families whose newborns have serious birth defects
requiring subspecialty care to remain in the same hospital with their infants, so mothers aren’t separated from their babies after birth.
"Children’s Mercy has provided state-of-the-art care for critically ill newborns for decades, but our new Fetal Health Center allows us to
begin that care even earlier in the process, providing an integrated approach to the baby's care before he or she is born and continuing
through delivery and the post-natal period," says Dr. Kilbride.