In addition to caring for the acute needs of our patients these are other programs we provide:
When a baby dies, the grief the family experiences is very real. Mutual support can help parents by sharing their thoughts and feelings with others who have shared a similar experience. We offer a neonatal bereavement support and support for families who have had to make the heartbreaking choices to end a pregnancy. Our Pastoral Care Department of Westchester Medical Center is available to offer emotional support and spiritual counseling.
Clinical research projects offered to our patients and families provide opportunities to receive new therapies available only in an academic medical center. We are important contributors to perinatal research in multicenter, single institution trials as well as in basic research. Our Perinatal-Neonatal Fellows are encouraged to develop collaborative research projects with other departments or faculty. Inter-disciplinary interaction is ongoing with Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Pediatric Pulmonology.
Activities of the professional staff are as follows:
1) Edmund F. LaGamma, M.D., plus 3 Trainees (Ravi Mishra, M.D., Predeep Mally, M.D., and Manuel DeCastro, M.D.) are involved with the following research protocol(s):
2) Lance A. Parton, M.D., plus 2 Trainees (Minerva Rasalan, M.D. and Asgar Dudhbhai, M.D.) are involved with the following research protocol(s):
3) Sergio G. Golombek, M.D., and 1 trainee (Ravi Mishra, M.D.) are involved with the following research protocol(s):
4) Trainee (Predeep Mally, M.D.) are involved with the following research protocol(s):
Etiology of Rapidly progressive, Late Onset NEC and transfusions
5) Mostafa S. Hassan, M.D. is involved with the following research protocol(s):
6) The Regional Neonatal Center Nursing Staff are involved with the following research protocol(s):
Our Neonatal Comprehensive Follow-Up Program is part of the Regional Neonatal Center clinical program in affiliation with Children's Rehabilitation Center and WIHD (Westchester Institute of Human Development), a Westchester Medical Center facility. This program is designed to ensure an integrated continuum of care by professionals with expertise in neonatology and development. In the clinic setting there are physical therapists, speech pathologists, neurologist, neonatologist and pediatric developmental specialist. The multidisciplinary team approach allows for comprehensive assessment of the patients needs. We have four easily accessible sites for the High Risk Follow-Up Clinic in the Hudson Valley Region.
HIV Counseling and Testing
Westchester Medical Center AIDS Care Center provides the services of an HIV counseling and testing team. The team is comprised of New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute trained counselors. The focus of the service is to provide confidential HIV pre and post-test counseling for clients who voluntarily agree to have HIV anti-body testing performed. The team is available for HIV counseling (pre-and post test; staff education groups; and patient/client education groups. Counseling and education are available in both English and Spanish.
HIV counseling and testing is encouraged for all individuals, adults, adolescents and child who may have engaged in high-risk behavior or are born to a parent(s) who may be at risk, and all prenatal/GYN clinic patients as a standard of care.
The Lactation Consultant helps mothers and mothers-to-be give their babies the gift of breastfeeding. When your baby is born, you may miss the closeness you experienced when the baby was inside you. Breastfeeding prolongs this closeness between the two of you in a special way. For almost every baby, it is the healthiest way to be fed and for mothers, breastfeeding offers long term health benefits. In addition, it's convenient, free, and always available.
Our Parent Group is ongoing and meets the first and third Thursday of each month from 2:00-3:00 P.M. At each session a topic pertaining to having a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit is presented. Issues discussed have been medical aspects of NICU babies, infection prevention and your baby, Kangaroo Care and coping with having your baby in the NICU. After each presentation there is time for parents to ask questions and meet with each other for mutual support. Parents can join at any time. Announcements for each meeting are on the bulletin board in front of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and at the entrance of each room in the NICU. The Parent Group is for families whose babies are hospitalized in The Regional Neonatal Center at Westchester Medical Center and its affiliate hospitals. The meetings are held in the conference room in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Parents who have attended the meetings have described the following benefits:
"I learned so much more about my baby. There were so many questions that I forgot to ask when I visited my baby."
"It gave me the chance to talk to other parents who really understood what I was going through."
"I found out what I could do for my baby when she was in the hospital. There was so much that she was able to do and there was so much that I had never imagined that I could do for her."
The Statewide Perinatal Database System Team (SPDS) exists as an outgrowth of one of the State Department of Health's (DOH) initiatives toward achieving their goal of "improving mother and baby outcomes" in New York State. This initiative involves instituting a statewide perinatal database in every hospital in NYS where maternal/neonatal services are offered. This DOH initiative was conceived about 7 years ago through a series of public hearings in Albany involving health care providers and their medical societies, hospital associations, the managed care industry, and of course, the Department of Health, as sponsors. The data collection portion of the initiative has already been implemented in the Upstate Regions of Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany and our region, The Greater New York (Downstate) Region is now scheduled to come on-line with this process.
The SPDS is designed to give hospitals and public health agencies timely access to data for quality improvement and public health efforts while at the same time providing a mechanism for registering births with the Vital Records program. Our Team will travel to our regional hospitals to provide assistance and support in getting the system up and running in each facility as well as in the analysis of the data generated. Ultimately this data-driven information strategy will enable us as health care providers to identify "best practices" across broad community services and then to plan a system of implementation to optimize the organization of a specialized perinatal health care network.
As the Regional Perinatal Center, Westchester Medical Center and its SPDS Team is dedicated and committed to work with the DOH to formulate an infrastructure for quality improvement which utilizes the state perinatal database to enhance integration of the combined services of our regional hospitals and to accomplish the goal of improving the health outcomes of the women and babies we serve.
Bioethics, Death-and-dying, Consents, DNR and Withdrawal of Care Issues are discussed through a monthly series of reading materials provided in advance (Bioethics Reading Seminar Series), though real consultation on actual cases with faculty and via didactic programs provided by the Department of Pediatrics and Westchester Medical Center. In addition we have multiple IRB approved protocols.
The Regional Transport Program is the only high-risk neonatal transport program from here to Albany and it is one of the busiest in the Greater New York Area. Over 220 neonatal patients are transported annually to the Regional Neonatal Center. From the moment a request is received to transport an infant, a neonatologist will consult and assist in management of the infant. Our experienced high-risk transport team, STAT team, is specially trained to assess, stabilize and manage the care of critically ill newborns who require transport to the Regional Neonatal Center at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
The transport team is available 24 hours, seven days a week to service the seven counties in the Hudson Valley Region. Due to our central location and capability for both helicopter and ambulance transport the team can depart after the request is received and arrive at most hospitals in the region within one hour. We are the only service that can reach all of the 30 hospitals in the seven Hudson Valley Counties by helicopter or land within one hour.
It is a requirement of the Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship program that all presentations be made in PowerPoint via an LCD projector. This is in anticipation of transmitting this material via the Internet to simulcast our conferences with each of our network affiliates.