WHO: HCA Midwest Health Midwest Neonatal Transport team and NICU graduates and their parents.

WHAT: 10-Year Anniversary, including press conference, reception with Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and tours of the specially equipped Midwest Neonatal Transport NICU ambulance.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 (Interviews following presentation/ribbon cutting)

WHERE: Overland Park Regional Medical Center, 10500 Quivira Rd, Overland Park, Kansas 66215

MEDIA: Please go to front lobby of hospital for escort.

WHY: For a decade, HCA Midwest Health—Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—has provided a dedicated neonatal transport team and transport services. Based at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health, Midwest Neonatal Transport transfers critically ill infants from 13 counties across the region to a higher level of care. The Overland Park Regional Medical Center level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) opened in 1991 and has cared for more than 5,000 babies.

When a baby is born prematurely or is critically ill after birth, they may require specialized care from a hospital that provides a high level of neonatal intensive care like Overland Park Regional Medical Center, and some may need transport to the NICU. Midwest Neonatal Transport transports newborns under the direction of board certified neonatologists, experienced pediatricians with advanced training in the care of critically ill babies.

“Our NICU team takes care of the most fragile and vulnerable newborns,” says Rob Holcomb, M.D., Neonatologist and Medical Director of the Midwest Neonatal Transport. “On average our experienced NICU team and specialized healthcare experts provide round-the-clock life-saving care to 46 preemies each day, including micropreemies born as early as 22 weeks, and newborns with serious health issues. Because of this vital regional transport and NICU service, the future is bright for these tiny patients.”

Midwest Neonatal Transport’s life-saving work begins when the team receives a call that a newborn needs transport to the NICU.

“We work with the neonatologist or healthcare professional on the other end of the phone and, once we get to the baby, we assess the situation and attend to immediate needs,” Holcomb says. “It might be respiratory problems, congenital heart issues or a host of other complications.”

The Midwest Neonatal Transport team arrives in an ambulance outfitted with special equipment like ventilators and cooling blankets, which can slow down brain injuries a baby may experience from a lack of oxygen.

“The cooling blanket hooks up to a mattress that it runs cool water through and the baby actually lays on that little mattress,” Holcomb explains. “For the transport, babies are placed in an isolette that provides a warm, quiet environment and allows for monitoring the baby’s heart and lungs during the ambulance ride.”

“We are blessed to have the Midwest Neonatal Transport team, headed by Dr. Holcomb—a passionate and compassionate group of highly skilled medical professionals with expertise in the care of critically ill newborns and specific training in neonatal transport,” says Kevin J. Hicks, FACHE, Overland Park Regional Medical Center chief executive officer. “This regional service is a regional healthcare asset and we will continue to make new investments in the level III NICU and dedicated pediatrics services offered at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, which allows these patients to stay close to home and their support system. Our commitment is to always provide leading-edge healthcare options to the community.”

In addition to Midwest Neonatal Transport, NICU physicians and nurses in attendance, the celebration will include NICU graduates who were beneficiaries of the transport service:

  • Shannon Figgins, whose daughter, Jade, was transported from Iola, Kansas.
  • Zach and Hilary McNeil, whose twin daughters, Ava and Reese, were transported from Olathe Medical Center.
  • Samantha and David Burroughs, whose son, David, was transported from Research Medical Center.
  • Jed and Helen Burch, whose son Ronan, was transported from Research Medical Center.

For more information about Overland Park Regional Medical Center and its comprehensive healthcare services, including NICU services, visit https://oprmc.com/nicu