Ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for neonatal care, Lurie Children's is the only hospital in Illinois that is included in the honor roll of Best Children's Hospitals.
Neonatologists often care for patients as part of multidisciplinary teams, including Heart Center specialists in fetal/neonatal medicine and cardiac critical care and pulmonologists in treatment of pediatric pulmonary hypertension.
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Lurie Children's leads regionally and nationally in the treatment of newborns for these reasons:
- The ECMO program (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), a highly sophisticated mechanical heart/lung support system), under the direction of pediatric surgeon Marleta Reynolds, is widely recognized for its excellence. ECMO provides an important safety net for infants with pulmonary hypertension and other serious conditions because it allows the heart and lung to rest during the time needed for recovery. There are fewer than 100 such programs nationally.
- The physicians in the Division of Neonatology, headed by Robin Steinhorn, MD, are internationally recognized leaders in the delivery of cutting-edge therapies such as nitric oxide and high-frequency ventilation. All are board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- The division's research team is composed of both physicians and full-time investigators and is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. The team uses a translational, or bench-to-bedside, approach to research to better understand the causes of pulmonary hypertension and other conditions and to develop new therapies.
- Lurie Children's was the first hospital in Chicago to have a full-time developmental care specialist dedicated to the NICU. The position is supported by the Founders' Board. "Developmental care involves modifying a newborn's environment and learning to read and respond to an infant's behavioral cues to determine his or her current capabilities and needs," according to Sue Horner, RN, currently the NICU developmental specialist at Lurie Children's. Developmental care is based on the premise that aggressive brain development occurs prior to birth and continues until age three.