Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) announced Tuesday (March 27) that it is joining the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Nursery Alliance in a move that will directly coordinate care between neonatologists and physicians at the two healthcare organizations.
ACH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and physicians at JRMC in Pine Bluff will collaborate to provide immediate consults to physicians at JRMC. The partnership will also provide educational support, quality data review and implementation of best practices. The alliance also provides training through telemedicine for the purpose of enhancing neonatal care and creates support as needed to help babies at JRMC or at ACH get better care.
Pediatrician Joann Mays, MD, of Pine Bluff will serve as medical director for the alliance at JRMC. Dr. Mays is a long-time member of the medical staff and serves on JRMC’s Board of Directors. In 2017, there were 800 deliveries at JRMC.
Arkansas Children’s officials said the collaboration addresses one of the state’s most vexing health problems: infant mortality. According to ACH, for every 1,000 babies born in the state, eight die before their first birthdays.
“However, there is hope,” said Marcy Doderer, President and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “You see here today the shared commitment of Jefferson Regional and Arkansas Children’s, and how we plan to change the story for the tiniest of patients. Together, we will improve children’s health in this community, in Arkansas and beyond.”
JRMC is the second hospital member of the ACH Nursery Alliance, which was established in 2016 when Conway Regional Health System joined as the first hospital member.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital operates the state’s only designated Level IV NICU (100 beds), the highest level of acute care, and has access to pediatric specialists from all disciplines.
“We recognize and embrace collaboration between our health care organizations – all focused on providing exceptional care to our newborns, the future of our state,” said JRMC President & CEO Brian Thomas. “Through consultation, training, education with the neonatologists at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and collaboration with other hospital members, JRMC will improve its already outstanding level of care to families.”