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April 21, 2016

Buhimschi Catalin709757COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital recently received two grants totaling an estimated $4 million from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development that will enhance initiatives between the two institutions in the laboratory, delivery room and neonatal intensive care and pediatric units.

“This collaboration will foster new technology and innovation in Columbus because of the novel partnership between the two health systems. We are truly in a unique position to provide the best outcomes for mothers and infants in central Ohio,” said Dr. Catalin S. Buhimschi, director of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and vice chair of its Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“We are one of only eight sites to receive funding to participate in both Maternal Fetal Medicine Network Units (MFMU) and Neonatal Research Network (NRN) projects for approximately five years,” said Dr. Pablo Sanchez, principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Also, the funding allows for more than 25 employees between the two institutions to participate in national studies aimed to improve care of pregnant women and newborns in the U.S. 

Drs. Buhimschi and Sanchez are principal investigators for the MFMU and NRN grants, respectively. 

“The relationship between Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Nationwide Children’s Hospital uniquely positions us as obstetricians and neonatologists to ensure the latest recommendations that benefit the mom and infant in the days following birth, and as the child grows and develops,” Buhimschi said.

“For example, if we prescribe steroids to the mom shortly before birth, we want to make sure it’s safe and effective, not only in the short-term, but also five years down the road for the child,” Sanchez said.

“The burden to the American healthcare system of prematurity is immense and accounts for nearly 67 percent of all infant deaths and yearly healthcare costs totaling $26 billion. Synergistic efforts gathering high-quality evidence for prevention and improvement of adverse outcomes related to prematurity are desperately needed,” Sanchez said.

Among ongoing studies supported by the MFMU at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center include examining the effect of progesterone and cervical pessary in twin pregnancy, incidence of vertical transmission of hepatitis C and cytomegalovirus and elective scheduled delivery at 39 weeks.  

In addition, active studies at Nationwide Children’s supported by NRN include early-onset sepsis, generic database, hydrocortisone for BPD, hydrocortisone for CI, incubator weaning, late hypothermia, milk trial, NEST, preemie hypothermia and the TOP trial.

“Creating a culture of collaboration between obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology specialists in a research setting translates into better communication and better care in the delivery rooms and in neonatal intensive care units,” said Dr. Irina Buhimschi, director of the Center for Perinatal Research at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. 

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Contact: Sherri Kirk, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or Sherri.Kirk@osumc.edu.