Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program
Designed to support the most complex fetal patients, the Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program is an ambitious, multidisciplinary program that launched in 2009, with a vision of care that has continued to expand and develop. Operating within the Johnson Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Services, the Fetal and Pregnancy Health program is a significant achievement, growing rapidly since its inception and highlighting an innovative yet critical leadership role for neonatology in complex fetal care.
Dr. Susan Hintz is the Medical Director for the program, and Dr. Valerie Chock is the Associate Director for Neonatal and Prenatal Consultation Services. The Neonatology team, together with leadership in Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM), General Surgery, and the dedicated participation and collaboration of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Urology, Nephrology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Radiology and other specialties at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the program offers integrated, individualized care to expectant mothers and babies.
Patient Care Coordinator
Meg Homeyer, MS, CGC
Phone: (650) 724-2221
The Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program meets a recognized need for a highly organized process to provide comprehensive care to expectant mothers, complex fetal patients, and high-risk newborns, while integrating the substantial scientific and clinical expertise of Stanford Children’s Health. The program provides a single point of entry for families, referring physicians and patients to access the diagnostic, medical and surgical services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Coordination of consultations, testing, and treatment is streamlined. The multidisciplinary team provides joint consultations and meets regularly for fetal case conferences, drawing on the expertise of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and other specialists including genetic counselors, medical social workers and parent mentors. The program aims to offer the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic options, incorporating cutting-edge basic, translational and clinical research.
Investigation characterized by its depth and breadth is a hallmark of the Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program. As much information as possible is gathered from a variety of disciplines. There is a treatment plan in place for the duration of the pregnancy, delivery, and immediately after birth.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The program offers a full breadth of diagnostic and treatment approaches. Clarifying fetal findings leads the team to select an imaging approach, which may include level 2 ultrasound, fetal MRI, and fetal echocardiogram. After coordinated consultation with MFM and genetic counseling, other testing recommended may include chorionic villus sampling (CVS), amniocentesis, or non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT, cffDNA). Maternal fetal interventions and therapies including fetal blood and platelet transfusions, catheter and shunt-based maternal-and fetal surgery procedures, laser-based photocoagulation for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and other maternal-fetal surgical approaches may be recommended. Consultations that include multiple specialists with expertise across the care continuum assure that care is managed comprehensively. Our collaboration with the Texas Children’s Hospital Fetal Center further expands and enhances our coordinated options for treatment.
Appointments and Delivery Planning
In the face of such a complex process, the Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program strives to improve access and facilitate communication for referring physicians and patients. Our coordinators work directly with expectant mothers to make appointments and consultations as convenient as possible. The Johnson Center network of care includes Perinatal Diagnostic Centers throughout the Bay Area and central coast, allowing for follow-up fetal evaluations closer to the expectant mother’s home. When consultations, imaging, treatment, and delivery planning requires travel to Stanford, our program’s social workers help to arrange accommodations.
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is one of the few children’s hospitals in the country to offer obstetric care, delivery, newborn and pediatric services all in one place. With a level IV NICU steps away from the delivery room and coordinated leadership among MFM, Neonatology and other disciplines, the most complex delivery to immediate care scenarios can be planned and carried out effectively.