Press Releases

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and Abbott Northwestern break ground on state-of-the-art Midwest Fetal Care Center

New space adds to the Midwest Fetal Care Center’s growing reputation as a national leader in fetal care, thanks to naming gift from Mike and Ann Ciresi

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – August 20, 2015 – Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and Abbott Northwestern Hospital announced today the ground breaking of the new Midwest Fetal Care Center at The Mother Baby Center located between Children’s – Minneapolis and Abbott Northwestern Hospital. The new infrastructure – made possible in part through a $1 million named gift by Minnesota attorney and Children’s Foundation past chair, Mike Ciresi, and his wife Ann – will position the Midwest Fetal Care Center as a national leader in the advancement of caring for fetal abnormalities or conditions in a baby before birth. The Center will be named the Michael and Ann Ciresi Midwest Fetal Care Center and will be co-located with the Minnesota Perinatal Physicians Clinic, part of Allina Health.

“Philanthropy and support from the community have been a game changer for us; we have the staff, resources and now the facility to take the Midwest Fetal Care Center to the next level,” said Brad Feltis, MD, PhD, surgical director, Midwest Fetal Care Center. “Currently we perform only a few procedures inside the womb. In the next five to ten years, we’ll be able to advance to even more complex in-utero surgeries while expanding peer-reviewed data to improve outcomes for babies around the world. We’re really launching into the next frontier in medicine and the Midwest Fetal Care Center is poised to be among the national leaders in fetal diagnosis and therapy.”

As the first and largest advanced fetal care center in the Upper Midwest – and one of only a few in the United States – the new Michael and Ann Ciresi Midwest Fetal Care Center will offer the latest technology and treatments in a coordinated setting. The new facility, positioned at the entrance of The Mother Baby Center, will allow patients access to care every step of the way – from prenatal diagnosis and fetal treatment to delivery, postnatal care and long-term follow-up – all in a seamless and comfortable environment. In addition, the space will allow the Midwest Fetal Care Center to double the number of patients being seen.

“The Midwest Fetal Care Center is one of the top programs in the country for outcomes of surgical corrections of fetal anomalies. This is truly a testament to our staff who continuously pursue advanced training from world-renowned experts in fetal care,” said Bob Bonar, CEO, Children’s. “We were the first in the region to establish a comprehensive fetoscopic laser ablation program for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and innovations like that will be pushed even further as the program continues to expand.”

“We have one of the largest perinatal groups in the country which includes highly trained specialists in maternal fetal therapies,” added William Block, MD, MBA, medical director, Midwest Fetal Care Center. “Our care team is with our patient families every step of the way from helping mom keep the baby inside her as long as possible through neonatal care ensuring optimal health for both baby and mom.”

The Midwest Fetal Care Center was formally established in 2008 as a collaboration between Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Minnesota Perinatal Physicians, both part of Allina Health, along with Pediatric Surgical Associates, and other consulting subspecialists for the diagnosis, consultation and treatment of fetuses with developmental abnormalities. With the new space, team members have a built-in environment to collaborate on each individual case, and raise the standard of care with a multi-disciplinary approach.

“We believe attracting top talent is a must for any practice like fetal care where you absolutely rely on the work of the most innovative and ground-breaking minds coming together to bring new care solutions to families,” said Mike and Ann Ciresi. “Not only is this new building going to complement the wonderful care that’s already being provided by the Midwest Fetal Care Center staff, it’s going to make it easier to bring in the best and brightest minds in fetal care from around the world.”

“This innovative program is drawing attention from philanthropists around the region due to the nature of work and the exciting direction our staff is taking with the program to ensure every child has access to the best specialized health care available,” said Theresa Pesch, RN, president, Children’s Foundation. “From the new building to new hires, all of the recent Midwest Fetal Care Center initiatives position Children’s and Allina for a tremendous amount of success in the future of fetal care. It’s an exciting time for our organizations and we are so thankful the Ciresis and the broader community support us in our mission,”

About Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children’s serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty-care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Children’s maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children’s health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. This work is made possible in large part by generous philanthropic and volunteer support from individuals and organizations throughout the state and region. An award-winning health system, Children’s is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital. Please visit childrensMN.org.

About Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Minnesota Perinatal Physicians are part of Allina Health. Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics13 hospitals16 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide home caresenior transitionshospice carehome oxygen and medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. For more information about Allina Health, visit the website at allinahealth.org and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

About Midwest Fetal Care Center

The Midwest Fetal Care Center was formally established in 2008 as a collaboration between Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Minnesota Perinatal Physicians – part of Allina Health – along with Pediatric Surgical Associates, and other consulting subspecialists for the diagnosis, consultation and treatment of fetuses with developmental abnormalities. It is the first and largest advanced fetal care program in the Upper Midwest.