OHSU Doernbecher and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center partner to bring nationally ranked neonatal care to Southwest Washington’s sickest infants

01/26/12  Portland, Ore.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center (PHSW) and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have joined forces to ensure critically ill newborns and infants in the region receive the highest quality, most advanced medical treatment close to home.

Beginning March 1, 2012, board-certified neonatologists from OHSU Doernbecher’s nationally ranked Neonatal Care Center will staff PHSW’s Holtzman Twins Neonatal Intensive Care Unit 24/7 under the leadership of Robert Schelonka, M.D., head of the Division of Neonatology at OHSU Doernbecher and an associate professor of pediatrics (neonatology) in the OHSU School of Medicine.

“The OHSU Doernbecher neonatal group is excited to expand our collaborations with PeaceHealth — a longtime partner in the provision of leading-edge care for mothers and babies — to address a need for acute neonatology care at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center,” said Schelonka. “Building on the existing efforts of their neonatal team, we will enhance and broaden clinical services and capabilities to provide comprehensive, quality, safe, timely and family-centered neonatal care for families in their home community whenever possible.”

“By expanding our longtime relationship with OHSU and Doernbecher to include neonatology services, we solidify our commitment to the highest possible quality of care for newborns at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Through our coordinated efforts, more fragile babies can stay in their own community for care, reducing disruptions and minimizing stress on local families. Our expert clinical team at PeaceHealth Southwest’s Holtzman Twins Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are eager to align our practices and strong quality focus with this nationally recognized care team,” said Rainy Atkins, chief operating officer/administrator, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

In addition to enhancing access to highly specialized neonatal services for families close to home, OHSU Doernbecher and PHSW also will:

  • Share resources to enhance quality and reduce costs, a priority in an era of health reform.

  • Cross-train medical professionals, capitalizing on each other’s strengths and unique expertise.

  • Broaden access to unique clinical trials, which provide medical treatments and therapies often not available anywhere else in the region.

“This collaboration will allow OHSU and PeaceHealth Southwest to work more closely to enhance and coordinate care for our most vulnerable newborns. Our goal is to allow as many babies as possible to receive care close to home and family, and when that is not possible, to have seamless care coordination between our two organizations to most effectively and compassionately care for these patients,” said Mark O'Hollaren, M.D., vice president for strategic outreach at OHSU and professor of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. “We will work together to care for these newborns, and will also share expertise, education, and measurement of outcomes. Our goal is to provide care that ranks among the best in the nation.”

About PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center

PeaceHealth Southwest is a community-owned, not-for-profit provider, 450-bed, medical institution located in Vancouver, Washington. Repeatedly recognized nationally as a 100 Top Hospital, PHSW provides a full range of outpatient and inpatient diagnostic, medical, and surgical services to Clark County residents. The region’s health care leader and steward for more than 153 years, PeaceHealth Southwest is also Clark County’s largest employer. PeaceHealth Southwest’s 3,700 employees and 600 active medical staff members help support dozens of medical specialty services and programs, focused on cancer, heart, emergency, trauma, neuro-musculoskeletal, family birth, and primary care.

About OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital

OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital ranks among the top children’s hospitals in the United States in eight clinical specialties, including neonatology*. It ranks 36th nationally for NIH-awarded pediatric research funding among children’s hospitals affiliated with an academic health center**, and is one of only 22 NIH-designated Child Health Research Centers in the country.

OHSU Doernbecher cares for tens of thousands of children each year from Oregon, southwest Washington and around the nation, resulting in more than 180,000 discharges, surgeries, transports and outpatient visits annually. Nationally recognized OHSU Doernbecher physicians and nurses provide a full range of pediatric care in the most patient- and family-centered environment. These highly trained clinicians also travel throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, providing specialty care to more than 3,000 children at more than 150 outreach clinics in 15 locations. In addition, OHSU Doernbecher delivers neonatal and pediatric critical care consultation to community hospitals statewide through its state-of-the-art telemedicine network.

* US News Best Children’s Hospitals 2011-12.
** National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions