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SOAR Program

Background

Transition from the NICU to home is a very exciting time for infants and families, but it can be an incredibly stressful time as well. Parents typically experience a significant amount of anxiety regarding how best to care for and nurture their little bundle of joy following discharge from the NICU. Families have to shift their mindset from helping their infant survive to considering the myriad of supports and services that may be needed to help their infant thrive. The goal of our SOAR Program is to help make this transition easier by providing infants and their families with the supports and services they need, following an infant’s discharge from the NICU, to help these precious little ones grow, learn, develop, and, ultimately, maximize their full potential.


Vision

The vision of our SOAR Program is to help ensure that every qualifying high risk infant receive the medical care, support, therapies, and services that they need to optimize their overall health and wellbeing, growth and development, during the most critical first three years of their life. We want to ensure that each infant who graduates from our SOAR Program at 3 years of age, has the best possible foundation upon which to build future developmental skills and abilities as they move forward, better equipped and prepared to face and embrace their own unique life-long journey of continued learning and development.


Multi-Disciplinary Clinic

Our SOAR Team includes multiple medical and non-medical providers who work closely with our TCH physicians, as well as each infant’s own general pediatrician, to ensure appropriate coordination of each infant’s care, following their discharge from the NICU.

This clinic functions as a consultant Multi-disciplinary sub-specialty clinic service. Our current providers include: two High Risk pediatricians (who work in concert with each infant’s own general pediatrician to help facilitate and coordinate each infant’s care), a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, two pediatric Pulmonologists, a pediatric Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician, a pediatric Neurologist, two Occupational Therapists, three Physical Therapists, two Speech Language Pathologists, a Registered Dietician, a Lactation specialist, and NICU Nursing support.

Our High Risk pediatricians work closely with our Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician to track each infant’s growth and development at every visit. Each infant will complete a formal developmental assessment at specified time points, unless earlier concerns arise.

Our SOAR Program clinic is scheduled on Monday afternoons and Wednesday mornings. Typically, 2-4 patients are scheduled each half day of clinic. Each visit with our team typically lasts approximately 2-2.5 hours, depending on the number of providers the infant is to see. Our SOAR Program follows each infant through the first three years of their life.


Levels of care

  • Infants who are determined to be at high risk of future neurodevelopmental concerns will be scheduled to see our entire SOAR Team within a few weeks of their discharge from the NICU.
  • Infants who are determined to be at a moderate risk of future neurodevelopmental concerns, or who enroll in our SOAR Program when they are already several months of age, will likely be scheduled with our Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, Dr. Allen, between 4-5 months corrected age, for a comprehensive medical and developmental evaluation. During this ~3 hour evaluation, Dr. Allen will complete a thorough assessment of each infant’s medical and developmental needs to determine what (if any) therapies, services, and/or sub-specialty referrals are needed - to meet each infant’s unique needs.