Texas Children's Newborn Center is First U.S. Pediatric Hospital Designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre

HOUSTON - (Feb. 1,2010) - Texas Children's Newborn Center is the first and onlypediatric center to be named a World HealthOrganization Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Perinantal/Neonatal Health.

To commemorate themilestone, Texas Children's Hospital hosted a ceremony today with Senior TexasChildren's Hospital, Texas Children's Newborn Center and WHOCC leadership, aswell as representatives from World Health Organization/Pan American HealthOrganization (WHO/PAHO), in attendance. For more information please visit: http://bit.ly/aDy8kC

Texas Children'sNewborn Center, an international leader in perinatal/neonatal medicine and oneof the United States' most experienced neonatal intensive care units, ishonored to receive the designation. Texas Children's Hospital is the first andonly pediatric hospital in the Western Hemisphere to be affiliated withWHO/PAHO in this capacity and comes after 20 years of collaboration between theorganizations.

As a WHOCC, TexasChildren's Newborn Center is part of the inter-institutional, multi-nationalcollaborative network set up by WHO/PAHO in support of its programs at acountry, regional and global level. The primary goal of the partnership is tomake advancements in pediatric healthcare related to perinatal/neonatal healthin Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by a secondary focus: to createglobally replicable models around the world.

Ann R. Stark, M.D.,FAAP, chief of Neonatology at Texas Children's Hospital, professor ofPediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the WHO CollaboratingCentre for Perinatal/Neonatal Health, recognizes the collaboration as a chanceto positively influence the Americas. "The work that can be done on maternaland child health is extremely important. The research, education and trainingprograms that WHO/PAHO and its collaborating centers conduct aregroundbreaking, and Texas Children's involvement demonstrates our thoughtleadership as an organization."

Dr. Yehuda Benguigui,Neonatal and Child Health Senior Adviser at PAHO, is extremely pleased aboutTexas Children's Hospital being designated as a WHOCC. "Considering theextraordinary technical capacity of the Neonatology section of Texas Children'sHospital, as well as their experience in education, training, formation ofyoung professionals in health and international cooperation, Texas Children'sNewborn Center represents a highly relevant partner in supporting the region ofthe Americas to achieve Millennium Development Goal #4 related to loweringinfant and neonatal mortality and bettering the quality of life of the childrenin our region."

In Latin American andthe Caribbean, newborn deaths are the leading cause of mortality in childrenunder the age of five. PAHO calculates that approximately 9% of newborns inLatin America have a low birth weight, and it is estimated that this factor contributesbetween 40% and 80% of neonatal deaths.

Specifically, theTexas Children's Newborn Center WHOCC for Perinatal/Neonatal Health will:

Conduct research onthe fortification of human milk to increase the rate of growth among low birthweight infants in developing countries.

  • Conduct research into the development and implementation of family-centered care in low birth weight infants.
  • Support WHO's Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses' (IMCI) strategy by conducting workshops designed to train physicians and nurses from other countries on how to successfully implement the neonatology component of IMCIassist with national and international training workshops and practical training of physicians, nurses and dieticians involving perinatal and neonatal nutrition practices.
  • Collaborate with WHO in developing, writing and editing neonatal guidelines.

Since the mid 1980s,Texas Children's Newborn Center and WHO/PAHO have enjoyed a mutually beneficialrelationship in which the sharing of information, ideas and best practices havebecome commonplace. The two organizations have collaborated on several projectstargeted at reducing mortality rates of children in the Americas and beyond. Inlight of the foci and missions of both organizations as well as the history ofthe collaboration, the institutions have now combined their mutual expertise topositively affect perinatal/neonatal health in the Americas and around theworld.

The designation ofTexas Children's Newborn Center as a WHOCC will remain active through August2012, at which time Texas Children's Newborn Center can apply for a four-yearrenewal

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.