Ten years ago, Children’s Minnesota began partnering with Ridgeview in Waconia, Minn., to bring a higher level of neonatal care to communities in the southwest metro. Since then, Ridgeview, in collaboration with Children’s Minnesota, has cared for nearly 1,500 infants at its Level II neonatal care unit (NCU) that features seven private rooms and 13 total beds. In fact, the NCU at Ridgeview was set up to mirror the layout of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis.
The clinical team supporting the unit is trained to care for the most fragile babies. The team consists of Ridgeview’s specially-trained nursing staff and Children’s Minnesota neonatal nurse practitioners and neonatologists who provide 24/7 on-site support. Neonatal experts at both hospitals talk frequently about each baby and whether they need to be transported to Children’s Minnesota for higher level care or back to Ridgeview to be cared for locally.
“Our goal is to keep babies in their community. We know that outcomes are best when parents are highly involved in their child’s care and being close to home is important to making that happen,” said Dr. Mark Bergeron, MPH, medical director-special care nurseries, outreach and virtual care, associate medical director, level IV NICU.
To celebrate a decade of a successful partnership between Children’s Minnesota and Ridgeview, we’re excited to introduce you to Emily and Adam, and share their story.
Emily and Adam’s story
Emily and her husband Adam experienced first-hand the benefits of the Children’s Minnesota and Ridgeview partnership. In April, she delivered her twin boys at 27 weeks by an emergency C-section at Ridgeview. Sadly, one of the twins, Harold, passed away at birth due to a known genetic condition. Milton, however, was quickly stabilized and transported to Children’s Minnesota Level IV NICU where he spent three weeks. When the teams decided he was ready, Milton was transported back to Ridgeview for the remainder of his two-and-a-half month NCU stay.
“We had a doctor and neonatal nurse practitioner who cared for Milton at both locations. I think the connection helped them judge his progress and to see him from the beginning to the end,” said Emily. “Dr. George at Children’s Minnesota was very understanding, planned Milton’s care and set realistic goals. He always put things into perspective which helped keep our hopes up.”
When they arrived back at Ridgeview, Dr. Fahim continued his care. “She provided great education along the way and helped prepare us to take Milton home. It was also amazing to be closer to home. It allowed my husband, who’s a farmer, to visit more often. We also knew a number of the nurses and felt like we were being cared for by family.”
Emily says of her experience, “I am thankful for both teams. We still keep in touch with some of the nurses and I can’t thank them enough for the help and caring, especially for the information along the way. Milton is now over 16 pounds and is doing really well.”