Earlier this year, the state of Tennessee approved Ballad Health’s proposal to enhance care for vulnerable babies by focusing NICU services at Johnson City’s Niswonger Children’s Hospital, the region’s state-designated perinatal center. A steering committee and work groups including Ballad Health team members, obstetric physicians and neonatologists have been working to develop transition plans. That work is expected to be complete by Sept. 1.
Ballad Health noted babies will still be delivered in Kingsport. However, babies expected to require NICU services will be scheduled for delivery at the Palmer Family Birth Center at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.
“There, they will have access to a full complement of pediatric subspecialty services that are not available anywhere else in the region,” Ballad Health said in a statement. “High-risk babies born at another Ballad Health facility can be quickly and safely transported to the Level III NICU at Niswonger by our highly trained and experienced Neonatal Transport Team. This advanced neonatal care team has been in place for 35 years and safely transports more than 250 babies each year from Tennessee, Virginia and surrounding states to Niswonger Children’s Hospital.”
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