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WVU Medicine Children’s Teaming with Wheeling Hospital To Enhance NICU in Center for Pediatrics

December 31, 2019

WHEELING, WV — A partnership between WVU Medicine Children’s and Wheeling Hospital will result in the most advanced neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the area.

“We are committed to serving the Wheeling community and partnering to provide the services needed,” said Dr. Mark Polak, the NICU’s medical director. “WVU Medicine Children’s is dedicated to serving all patients in need and committed to its mission to accept all patients needing highly specialized medical care.”

Polak is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and chief of the Section of Neonatology at WVU School of Medicine. He is the senior attending in the NICU at WVU Medicine Children’s. Polak received his medical degree from WVU, where he completed his pediatric residency. He completed his fellowship in neonatal and perinatal medicine at the Shand’s Hospital at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. A member of the Society for Pediatric Research, Polak is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Also on the team from WVU Medicine Children’s will be Drs. Rebecca Burke, Lisa Costello, David Patton and Cody Smith.

Cara Gazdik, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Wheeling Hospital, said, “Keeping families close to home is a priority. This NICU allows the families to participate more in their infant’s care without having to worry about travel and lodging, leaving other children, their jobs, etc., and it also allows them to link with local community services.”

The services will include:
• 24/7/365 in-person coverage of NICU.
• Combination of on-site, in-person and live videoconference telemedicine services of the Wheeling Hospital neonatal population.
• Daytime services provided by neonatologist at the hospital 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Night coverage provided by trained advance practice provider (APP) from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday to Saturday.
• Weekend and holiday coverage provided by rotating neonatologist, pediatrician or APP with tele-NICU services for consultation within 30 minutes of request.

“We are excited to work closely with Wheeling Hospital to provide these critical NICU services to the people of Wheeling,” said Amy Bush, vice president and chief operating officer of WVU Medicine Children’s. “Elevating the level of pediatric care delivered in local communities through our partners is a major focal point of the WVU Medicine Children’s population health strategy. We plan to deliver on this strategy through the co-recruitment of physicians, greater tele-medicine offerings, and shared saving partnership models.”

Douglass Harrison, Wheeling Hospital CEO, said, “We are pleased to be able to partner with WVU Medicine for this service. This will be the first of many partnerships with WVU Medicine as we continue to expand the clinical services of Wheeling Hospital to meet the community’s needs. “

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Thea Gompers, Wheeling Hospital Director, Marketing/Public Relations 304-243-3705
Angela Knopf-Jones, Corporate Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs
WVU Medicine 304-285-7259
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