Barton expands partnership with UC Davis to benefit new moms, babies

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Barton Health is expanding its relationship with UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento to offer more specialized care to newborns in the Lake Tahoe region.

The arrangement increases Barton’s ability to care for more at-risk newborns by providing increased access to UC Davis specialists and experts including a neonatologist, and neonatal specialists within the pharmacy, respiratory therapy and nutrition departments. Barton team members will have access to education opportunities through UC Davis Health to ensure training and new skill acquisition.

Dr. Lee Donohue, a neonatologist who specializes in the care of sick newborns, has joined the Barton medical staff to collaborate and provide medical expertise as Barton prepares to apply for an expanded license to include intensive care newborn services.

“Through this collaboration, we will be able to offer a higher level of care allowing new moms and babies to thrive together with less need for transfers,” said Dr. Rhonda Sneeringer, Barton Health’s director of pediatrics. “More infants will be able to stay at Barton, giving new parents greater peace of mind.”

Smaller communities don’t experience the high rate of more complicated births necessary for rural hospitals like Barton to maintain critical specialists, and pregnant women identified as at-risk during their pregnancy often must travel elsewhere to deliver their babies. Childbirth can already be a time of stress and worry, and adding a lengthy trip to deliver or see a newborn only heightens those emotions. Collaborations with large medical centers allow rural hospitals to elevate their on-site level of care, keeping more babies and expectant mothers together and in the community through delivery.

Barton already has board-certified pediatric physicians on staff to provide care for newborns. This expanded collaboration with UC Davis Children’s Hospital will help prepare Barton to offer a nursery that will provide specialized care to unstable and premature infants locally.

In the case of infants who need higher levels of intensive care than what will be available at Barton, this relationship with UC Davis allows for the transfer and coordinated care of those mothers or infants to ensure appropriate and expedited medical services.

“Barton is always looking for ways to expand care for patients so that they can receive care close to home,” said Dr. Clint Purvance, president and CEO of Barton Health. “Collaboration is part of our culture and working with an academic center of UC Davis’ caliber ensures a higher level of expertise is available if needed in this more rural part of the state.”

Source: Barton Health

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