Sanford Health will study premature babies

Sanford Health was chosen to be a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Neonatal Research Network.

The network has 15 sites across the country, and Sanford Health is a participating hospital with the University of Iowa. The network was created in 1986 to conduct multi-center clinical trials in neonatal medicine. The Network is primarily funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Members of the network design and implement clinical trials across the Network for high-risk babies. Successful trials often translate to best practices in the health care industry.

Michelle Baack, M.D., a neonatologist and clinical investigator, will lead the effort for Sanford Health. “To be able to offer our tiniest patients access to the important work this network conducts is a major step for Sanford,” said Dr. Baack.

“The work this group has done has changed lives. We know we can help make a difference for babies and families through this network.” Clinical trials will be available this summer in Sioux Falls at the Sanford Children’s Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Infants enrolled in studies at Sanford will be followed after discharge through the NICU’s follow-up clinic led by neonatologist Laurie Hogden, M.D.

The follow-up clinic will help study the effect of early childhood care throughout the child’s lifetime. The work the network has done in the past includes gathering and using data to better understand mortality rates for very low birth-weight babies and understanding early-onset sepsis.

The network has a variety of ongoing randomized clinical trials and observational trials.

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