NHRMC and UNC Health Care collaborate to provide more advanced care to area children

February 23, 2011
WILMINGTON – New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the University of North Carolina Health Care System have announced an agreement that will further advance health care for children in Southeastern North Carolina. Through the agreement, NHRMC’s Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital and N.C. Children’s Hospital will be able to more easily collaborate on the care of local pediatric patients. Clinicians from the two hospitals will share policies, practices and protocols to seamlessly work together to provide increasingly advanced care to children close to their homes. “NHRMC explores opportunities to form relationships that further advance the healthcare services we offer the people of this region and this is one more step in our efforts to further expand care for children locally,” said Jack Barto, President and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. “We don’t want our local families to go through the stress of traveling when their children are hurt or sick. Having the pediatric specialists at UNC working with our physicians, specialists and staff will enable more children to be cared for here.” The Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital opened in 2008 and offers the region’s first pediatric intensive care unit. The hospital is also home to a neonatal intensive care unit and last year expanded its pediatric surgery program. N.C. Children’s Hospital has supported the growth of pediatric services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center for years. In addition to the highly skilled specialists on staff at NHRMC, pediatric sub-specialists from the UNC faculty come regularly to see patients at NHRMC’s Nunnelee Pediatric Clinic. Under the new agreement, this practice will continue, while deepening the relationship between the physicians at the two facilities. “This is a culmination of efforts that combine our respective strengths to broaden access to state-of-the-art pediatric care for the communities we serve,” said Alan D. Stiles, M.D., physician in chief, N.C. Children’s Hospital. “Together we have defined and solidified the collaboration that has already done so much for children and families in this region.” “Both NHRMC and N.C. Children’s Hospital have a reputation for excellence,” said Barbara Buechler, administrator of NHRMC’s Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with their team of pediatric specialists to enhance the range and depth of care we provide to our area families.” “In addition to the clinical aspects of the agreement, the agreement facilitates interaction among doctors from both hospitals to advance physician training and research,” remarked Dr. Stiles. “Where once there were five centers in North Carolina with this high level of pediatric care, now there will be six – with NHRMC and UNC Health Care specialists working in close alignment.” President and CEO Jack Barto characterized the agreement as a milestone in a long and productive relationship between the two hospital staffs. “Access to advanced pediatric care is something our community expects from us as a first-rate regional medical facility. This agreement is a fulfillment of that expectation, and a tribute to the hard work and vision of many committed professionals at NHRMC and UNC Health Care,” said Barto. Opened in summer 2008, 195,000-square-foot Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital on the campus of New Hanover Regional Medical Center offers obstetrical care for routine and high-risk deliveries, welcoming more than 4,000 new lives each year. For babies born premature or critically ill, the hospital is home to a 45-bed, all-private-room Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the region's first. The Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital also has the only pediatric unit and pediatric intensive care unit in the region, with a staff that includes two pediatric surgeons, three pediatric hospitalists and three pediatric intensivists. Women admitted to the hospital needing gynecological treatment, including for gynecological oncology, are also cared for in the Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 4,500 jobs directly and another 3,000 jobs indirectly. North Carolina Children's Hospital protects the health and well-being of North Carolina's 2.1 million children by aligning premier health care practitioners, world-class medical education, and innovative, interdisciplinary research to provide the highest-quality, family-centered care, regardless of a family's ability to pay. As a major referral center for children with complex and chronic conditions, N.C. Children's Hospital works hand-in-hand with community hospitals and pediatricians across the state, providing specialty care to more than 70,000 children from all 100 counties each year. N.C. Children's Hospital offers complete pediatric inpatient and outpatient care in its 140-bed state-of-the-art facility at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and at more than 25 satellite outpatient clinics throughout North Carolina. The Children's Hospital's world-class physicians, nurses and other clinical staff represent all pediatric subspecialties and are capable of treating children with virtually any disease or disorder. More information at www.ncchildrenshospital.org. ###