(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new partnership between Mosaic Life Care and Children’s Mercy Hospital will cut down on the number of babies separated from their mothers and transferred to Kansas City for treatment.
Adriana Nabors, Vice-President of Operations at Mosaic, said they send about 40-50 babies to Children’s Mercy a year.
Through the METRO partnership, Children’s Mercy Hospital staff Mosaic with neonatal intensive care unit nurse practitioners. The Children’s Mercy NICU program will also offer its specialists and neonatologists via telemedicine.
Dr. Steve Olsen is the interim director of neonatology at Children’s Mercy and also serves as the medical director of the NICU at Mosaic. He said the two main reasons babies are transported from Mosaic to Kansas City is if the baby is premature or has difficulty breathing.
“Our nurse practitioners here are some of our most experienced ones,” Dr. Olsen said. “Responding immediately to emergencies, typically right at the time of delivery is key.”
Those babies in fragile health need an extra level of care and support that was not previously offered in the Mosaic Maternity division.
“It’s the first few things that happen in the first few minutes that can really improve the long term outcome of a baby and so they are very skilled at doing those emergency procedures,” Dr. Olsen said.
Nabors said she thinks this partnership will make a huge difference to the families of St. Joseph.
“Families are very happy with the care that they get there so being able to bring that care here and offer it onsite, warmed my heart for sure,” she said.
Nabors said the partnership expands Mosaic’s services to babies in need of critical care in St. Joseph. She said watching moms and families struggle with the distance was the inspiration behind getting into this partnership.
Before, babies in need of more advanced care after birth would have to be transported to Kansas City for treatment.
Dr. Olsen said the biggest issue with taking a baby to Children’s Mercy for the family is the distance.
“It’s not a long drive to Kansas City but right after you’ve had a baby it’s an awfully long drive,” Dr. Olsen said.
Preemies and critically ill babies born at Mosaic Life Care will still be transferred to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City if the baby is in need of more specialized care, Dr. Olsen said.
In addition to benefiting babies and families, Nabors said the staff is eager to start too. Children’s Mercy neonatologists, nurse practitioners will provide medical leadership working with Mosaic’s advanced newborn care.
“Our staff is very excited to learn more, offer more, do more for the families here in our community,” Nabors said.
This is not the first NICU partnership for Children’s Mercy. But this is the first type of hybrid model where nurse practitioners from Children’s Mercy are onsite but physicians care is through telemedicine.
“We at Children’s Mercy love to partner with all of the hospitals that are in our referral area to care for babies,” Dr. Olsen said. “We in our neonatology division partner with eight other NICUs now from Mosaic all the way to Wichita.”
Discussions about forming a partnership between the two healthcare providers started about five years ago.