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Shannon teams with Cook Children's Health Care and Pediatix to extend neonatal care services

It is estimated between 10 and 15 percent of all newborns need additional neonatal care at birth.
Neonatal intensive care unit (Stock image)

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Shannon Medical Center, Cook Children’s Healthcare System and Pediatrix Medical Group, a Mednax company, are collaborating in a new partnership to continue neonatology services and further enhance neonatal care in the Concho Valley.

According to a Shannon press release, the three organizations will be working together to "ensure continuous provider coverage for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients at Shannon while also sharing innovative best practices and models of care between the hospitals. This partnership is the first of its kind between pediatric providers in Texas."

Shannon Women’s & Children’s Hospital and the Shannon South Hospital welcome almost 2,000 babies each year. It is estimated between 10 and 15 percent of all newborns need additional neonatal care at birth. As the first certified Level II Neonatal Facility in the region, Shannon provides care for those newborns with special needs or requiring additional intervention.  

To help support these infants and the Shannon NICU team, a full-time neonatal physician from Pediatrix will serve as the program’s medical director and provide day-to-day medical coverage for these patients in the NICU. 

Additionally, the Cook Children’s NICU team will work with the Shannon NICU team to provide shared quality guidelines and education for staff on emerging research, including best practices and procedures for care. Cook Children’s is currently certified as a Level IV NICU, the highest level that can be achieved by a NICU.

“Cook Children’s has served as a longtime partner in care for many of our local patients in need of access to higher level specialty care at their facility or through their telemedicine program,” Shannon CEO Shane Plymell said in the press release. “We are pleased to partner with their renowned program to continue providing neonatal care here at home for our patients. This unique collaboration will combine the experience of our pediatric providers with Cook’s specialty expertise and knowledge, along with having dedicated neonatal specialists on site to provide the best possible care to our tiniest patients. We look forward to advancing neonatal care to the next level for our region.”

“This unique partnership is a great example of how health care organizations can work together to fill a vital need for San Angelo and surrounding counties in western and central Texas,” Cook Children's Health Care System President and CEO Rick W. Merrill said. “In addition to providing staff education, we will continue to offer exceptional clinical services and support for critically ill children via our Level IV NICU, which is the highest level of designation for neonatal care available in the country.”

“We are thrilled to extend our long-standing partnership with Cook Children’s,” Mednax Market President Mike Dwyer, M.D. said. “For decades, Pediatrix and Cook Children’s have partnered to provide state-of-the-art neonatal care for the community’s most vulnerable infants. We look forward to extending this relationship to San Angelo where together, Pediatrix, Cook Children’s and Shannon will continue our long history of providing high-quality, specialized care for premature neonates.”