Children’s National Hospital and GW Hospital Expand Partnership to Benefit More NICU Infants

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Beginning March 1, 2020, Children’s National Hospital neonatologists will staff the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the Well-Baby Service at GW Hospital. This enhanced collaboration aligns with the organizations’ longstanding academic partnership and further integrates the nation’s premier neonatology team from Children’s National with GW Hospital to provide high quality care to infants and families.

“We are pleased to partner with Children’s National to create a more comprehensive experience for mothers and families whose infants are born prematurely or whose babies experience problems after birth,” said Kimberly Russo, MBA, CEO/managing director of GW Hospital. “Our critical, complex women’s services will continue to support high-risk mothers in providing a safe delivery, while their infants will now also have access to the nation's leading neonatologists — all under one roof.”

Children’s National Hospital has had a decades-long partnership with GW Hospital due to an academic affiliation agreement with the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS), teaching medical students, residents and fellows since 1968. The partnership aligns shared educational, research and clinical missions and has led to many successful pediatric initiatives in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

“This new partnership also enables Children’s National sub-specialists to begin supporting the care of high-risk babies at the earliest possible moment, even before the baby arrives,” says Robin H. Steinhorn, MD, senior vice president of hospital-based specialties and professor of pediatrics at Children’s National and the George Washington University.

Nancy Gaba, MD, Oscar I. and Mildred S. Dodek and Joan B. and Oscar I. Dodek, Jr. professor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA), sees many enhanced benefits for expectant mothers, their babies and families in the region and beyond. “This coverage allows us to create a much fuller experience for families whose infants are at risk or are born prematurely. This strategic partnership better enables obstetricians and parents to work with Children’s National pediatric sub-specialists to create care plans for fetuses and infants in a more seamless way,” said Dr. Gaba.

The organizations will work together through the several-month transition period. GW Hospital is a designated Level III NICU and was the first hospital in the District of Columbia to offer the NicView camera system, allowing parents, family and friends to view their NICU infant in real-time, 24/7. Children’s National Hospital is a designated Level IV NICU that cares for at least 900 newborns each year. Fifty percent of these newborns are on ventilators upon admission, and 30 percent have a condition requiring surgery.

“We and thousands of our families are grateful for the many years of loyal and dedicated service, education and scholarship provided by our neonatology and Well-Baby physician staff,” said Robert Kelly, MD, CEO of the GW MFA. “Their countless contributions over the years have enhanced the lives of their patients, the careers of their learners and the field of neonatology.”

Jeffrey S. Akman, MD, vice president for health affairs, Walter A. Bloedorn professor of medicine and dean of the GW SMHS, also notes that in addition to enhanced attending coverage, this new initiative will provide educational benefits for the students, residents and fellows who work with the GW Hospital NICU and Well-Baby nursing staff.

“Our joint training programs ensure that our students and residents work hand-in-hand with the nation’s best neonatologists, providing high quality of care for newborns in this region,” said Dr. Akman.