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Neonatal collaboration promotes statewide care

University, Fauquier Health partner to extend care to larger community

The University Health System recently announced a partnership with Fauquier Health hospital that allows neonatologists about an hour and a half north of Charlottesville in Fauquier to communicate with doctors at the University using live video streaming. University doctors could then consult the Fauquier Health doctors regarding how to best provide care to newborns in need.

“Fauquier Health recognized a need to expand our nursery services, allowing sick newborns to stay close to home and their families while providing the excellent care Fauquier Health is known for,” said Maria Juanpere, medical director of the Mars Family Special Care Nursery at Fauquier Health. “The telemedicine program brings even more advanced care to our patients and their families.”

Pediatrics Prof. Karen Rheuban said the new telemedicine partnership is the “first one in the state that allows for continuous care of newborns in the newborn nursery in the community hospital setting.”

“It’s not about the technology, but it’s the network of people that makes these partnerships successful,” she said.

James Nataro, chairman of the University’s Department of Pediatrics, said the staff at Fauquier Health were “really passionate about patient care.”

“We really have to partner … with that terrific unit there,” he said. “We knew that this was a match made in heaven.”

The partnership was launched Nov. 13, when a real-time telemedicine connection virtually brought representatives from Fauquier Health to the University to share in the unveiling of the new program.