Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is expanding its services for newborns with serious medical conditions and children requiring specialty care.
“It is an outstanding benefit for Seacoast families to now have their critically ill infant cared for at Wentworth-Douglass, often in the same room as their mother. The relationship with MassGeneral for Children (MGHfC) really allows Wentworth-Douglass to leverage care for Seacoast families,” Dr. Chris Rouse, medical director and neonatologist said in a news release.
The Dover hospital became the first Seacoast hospital with a Level IIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), as part of a new partnership with MassGeneral Hospital for Children that began earlier this month.
The upgraded NICU allows the hospital to provide more advanced respiratory support for premature infants. Access to doctors associated with Mass General Hospital will also allow the hospital to increase its pediatric specialty services in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, pulmonology, orthopedics and surgery.
“For world-class doctors to be able to treat more infants and children here, who otherwise would have had to undergo a stressful transfer to another facility, is a tremendous gain for the Seacoast,” said Nicole Pendenza, assistant vice president of the Women and Children’s Center at Wentworth-Douglass.
MGHfC neonatal providers will now be at Wentworth-Douglass 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the hospital will continue to provide the services it currently offers. Hospital officials said Wentworth-Douglass delivers more babies annually than its three largest area competitors — often combined.
Dr. Ron Kleinman, physician-in-chief at MGHfC and Mass General Brigham Pediatrics, said the collaboration will expand “access to high-quality specialty care locally and enhance the health of children of all ages, from newborns to adolescents.”
The new partnership will also have an impact in Portsmouth, where new pediatric specialty services will be added at the hospital’s Building A location at the Pease Tradeport in the coming months.