Akron Children’s Hospital will operate the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Maternal Fetal Medicine practices at Aultman Hospital in an agreement announced Wednesday.

Both organizations will sign a letter of intent, which is subject to final approval by the Aultman Health Foundation Board of Directors.

The new agreement expands on the hospitals’ 10-year collaboration. Children’s already operates the inpatient pediatric unit at Aultman Hospital and Akron Children’s outpatient subspecialty services on various Aultman campuses. These outpatient services will move to the newly-constructed Akron Children’s Health Center in North Canton, which will be located on the Aultman North campus when it opens next March.

“The Aultman NICU has been providing exceptional care to our community and patients for the past 47 years,” said Chris Remark, CEO of Aultman Hospital, in a news release. “We are excited to partner with Akron Children’s yet again, continuing to use the strengths of two independent systems to serve two of our community’s most valuable resources — our mothers and our children.”

Akron Children’s President Grace Wakulchik said “this partnership will allow us to further our impact in the Stark, Carroll, Holmes, Wayne and Tuscarawas counties area. We are committed to offering continued advances in pediatric and maternal care close to home.”

Teams from Aultman and Akron Children’s will work collaboratively to ensure the quality of care is maintained for all patients and professional opportunities are sustained for the staff.

“Many other level III NICUs in the state have partnered with children’s hospitals to help reinforce their women and children’s services,” said Remark. “Our goal is to remain independent through interdependence and keep these vital level III services right here in our community.”

 

Beacon Journal consumer columnist and medical reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty