Hospitals collaborate to offer higher level of neonatal care


An agreement signed between Wooster Community Hospital (WCH) and Akron Children’s Hospital will bring a higher level of neonatal care to Wayne and surrounding counties.

Akron Children’s will operate a Level II special care nursery in the Women’s Pavilion located on the ground floor of WCH.

A Level II nursery is able to care for babies born up to 8 weeks premature (at or greater than 32 weeks gestation), who weigh at least 3 lbs., and who are physiologically immature, such as those who have breathing problems or are unable to feed orally.

This level of care is ideal for babies whose mothers go into labor before full term but do not require care at a high-risk delivery center or Level III neonatal intensive care unit.

The Level II unit will be staffed by Akron Children’s physicians and specialized nurses.

The two hospitals announced they were collaborating to expand services last July when Akron Children’s pediatricians began caring for pediatric patients, as well as newborns, at WCH. 

“We are pleased to once again expand services locally, and to enhance our collaboration with Akron Children's Hospital,” noted WCH Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sheron.

“It’ a great opportunity for us to offer the neonatal expertise of Akron Children’s locally.   This will decrease the need for families to travel outside of the community.  Akron Children’s has been an exceptional partner in providing care for our newborns and we’re excited about expanding the service,” says Dr. Loraine Frank-Lightfoot, Director of Patient Services/CNO at WCH.

“Akron Children’s is excited to once again be partnering with Wooster Community Hospital to offer a higher level of care to our youngest and smallest patients,” said Shawn Lyden, Executive Vice President of Akron Children’s. “Having a premature baby can be stressful and we hope to give Wayne and surrounding areas families some solace in knowing excellent neonatal care is available right in their own community.”

Lyden noted that Akron Children’s now has a continuum of prenatal-to-pediatric services in Wayne and surrounding counties, beginning with the hospital’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists who care for women with high-risk pregnancies at the Subspecialty Physician Center, located on Winter Street adjacent to the WCH Main Campus.

Since 2000, Akron Children’s has also been offering primary care services for infants, babies and teens at the WCH Milltown Professional Building in Wooster. This pediatrician office is one of 23 Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics locations in the region. 

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Hospitals collaborate to offer higher level of neonatal are in Wooster

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