Our Team

Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is led by a multidisciplinary team of neonatal experts – physicians and nurses who are internationally known for their level of experience and knowledge in the care of premature and critically ill infants. They serve on committees and consortiums that set the standard of care for newborn care nationally and conduct research on a range of topics in perinatal and newborn medicine.

Physician leaders

Leaders on the national stage through their appointments with professional organizations, our physicians train the neonatal medicine specialists of tomorrow through Texas Children's affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine.

Nurse leaders

Exemplifying excellence in the management and care of premature and critically ill infants, our nurses work hand-in-hand with physician leaders to ensure the highest level of care is provided to our patients. They serve on regional and national committees and train future neonatal nursing leaders through Texas Children’s affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine.

Expert team of professionals

Taking care of the sick and premature infants in a NICU requires compassion, skill and the highest level of expertise. In addition to nationally recognized physicians, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team includes more than 500 highly specialized neonatal nurses and other health care professionals who provide expert patient care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When your baby is admitted to one of our NICUs, a team of these specialists is chosen to work with you and the doctors to meet the unique health care needs of your baby and to provide the best possible care. Virtually any pediatric subspecialist your baby may need is nearby and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And since Texas Children's is an academic medical center, our team members are the health care professionals who train other medical professionals. This means that the experts at Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit help set the standards of care nationally.

Our expert team of professionals includes:

  • Child life specialists – Child life specialists use comfort and play to help promote normal, healthy development. They also help young children cope with having a brother or sister in the NICU.
  • Dietitians – The registered dietitians who work at Texas Children’s receive extra training in the very specialized area of neonatal nutrition. We are 1 of only 2 federally funded programs nationally to offer this type of specialized training in neonatal nutrition.
  • Fellows – These pediatricians are receiving advanced training in neonatal medicine and are supervised by our newborn specialists. They are an important part of your baby's care team.
  • Lactation consultants – Our experienced breastfeeding specialists provide a variety of services to breastfeeding mothers and their infants. In addition to outpatient consultations, they have special training to help mothers of hospitalized infants breastfeed or provide breast milk to their babies.
  • Neonatal nurse practitioners – Advanced registered nurse practitioners are nurses who are prepared at the graduate educational level and hold either a masters or doctorate degree in nursing. They also have advanced certification as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP). At Texas Children's, our NNPs are part of an expert health care team who will be involved in the care of your baby.
  • Neonatal nurses – Our registered nurses are highly specialized in the care of very sick or premature infants and their families and are integral to the exceptional care provided in our NICUs. Texas Children’s supports advanced training and certification for all professional nurses in this area of medicine, making them a knowledgeable and critical part of our dedicated team of professionals.
  • Neonatal clinical specialists – These professionals are registered nurses with master’s degrees, who integrate evidence-based research into the theory and research of neonatal nursing and provide educational consultation to families and other care providers. They establish patient care standards and assess needs in the family, nursery and community to employ educational program based on their findings.
  • Neonatologists – The world-renowned neonatologists at Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are specifically trained to handle high-risk newborn situations, ranging from prematurity to birth defects. These physicians have training leading to certification in pediatrics and neonatology by the American Board of Pediatrics and the Sub-board of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. The neonatologists at Texas Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit use evidence-based treatments to provide the best available care for your child.
  • Occupational and physical therapists – These specialists help hospitalized babies learn the skills they need to leave the hospital. At Texas Children's Hospital, our occupational and physical therapists often continue to work with babies after they go home.
  • Pharmacists – These dedicated professionals supervise the tiny doses of medicine used to treat fragile infants. They work with the NICU medical team to ensure quality and reduce the chances of medication errors.
  • Respiratory therapists – Neonatal respiratory therapists apply high-tech life support with compassionate hands-on care to help babies breathe. They manage mechanical ventilators, perform blood gas analysis and monitor a baby’s lung function.
  • Social Workers – Clinical Social Workers address the needs of individuals, families, couples, and groups affected by life’s changes and challenges.  Social Workers utilize psychotherapeutic techniques to restore and/or enhance the person’s capacity to meet their personal and social needs.  NICU social workers are valuable to offer support, counseling, resources, education, and advocacy.

During your time in the NICU you may also meet social workers, chaplains and pediatric residents.

Chief of Neonatology

Professional Interests: Patient Safety Healthcare Quality Improvement Evidence-Based Decision Making Translation of Research into Practice, Ethics, Humanism in Medicine Organizational Culture Leadership in Healthcare

Address: 6621 Fannin Street MC W6104 Houston, TX 77030 United States See map: Google Maps Texas
Phone: 832-826-1380

Medical Director of Neonatology - Texas Children's Hospital

Professional Interests: Patient Safety Healthcare Quality Improvement Evidence-Based Decision Making Translation of Research into Practice, Ethics, Humanism in Medicine Organizational Culture Leadership in Healthcare

Address: 6621 Fannin Street MC W6104 Houston, TX 77030 United States See map: Google Maps Texas
Phone: 832-826-1380

Medical Director of Neonatal Transport

Dr. Caraciolo Fernandes is an academic neonatologist whose clinical experience and training spans three different countries/continents (India/Asia, Australia and the United States) and over three decades. He has been at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine since 1994.  In the Texas... Read more

Address: 6621 Fannin Street Houston, TX 77030 United States See map: Google Maps Texas
Phone: 832-826-1380

Associate Director, Level 2 NICU, and Vice Chair of the State Public Affairs Committee for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

Professional Interests: Infant Mortality Health Disparities Prematurity Patient Advocacy Newborn Screening

Address: Texas Children's Pavilion for Women 6621 Fannin Street, 6th Floor, West Tower Houston, TX 77030 United States See map: Google Maps Texas
Phone: 832-826-1380

Director of Advanced Practice Nurses

My goals as a provider are to be respectful, accountable, compassionate, and dedicated to providing the best care possible to the patients and families I work with. Successfully educating and supporting families of pediatric patients with cardiac disease gives me a great sense of achievement as a... Read more

Address: 6651 Main Street Legacy Tower, 21st Floor Houston, TX 77030 United States See map: Google Maps Texas
Phone: 832-826-5600

Assistant Director of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners/Advance Practice Nurses

My passion for neonatology began when I was young and grew throughout nursing school. I am drawn to the smallest patients because they make the largest mark on my heart. There is nothing better than watching critical neonates that you have cared for grow into young children.

Address: Texas Children's Pavilion for Women 6621 Fannin Street, Suite A0480.17 Houston, TX 77030 United States See map: Google Maps Texas
Phone: 832-824-6242

Assistant Director of Lactation Program and Mother’s Own Milk Bank

My primary clinical focus for the last 30-plus years has been to provide the most effective and caring support to breastfeeding mothers and their infants. Ensuring that breastfeeding mothers have the resources and support they need in the early days and weeks after delivery has tremendous impact... Read more


Phone: 832-826-8881 Baby Bistro (outpatient breastfeeding clinic) | 832-626-3612 (Direct Line)