NICU Family Reunion Block Party:
In the 1960s, neonatology was a new specialty that found a number of pediatricians devoting themselves to improving outcomes for critically ill and low birth weight newborns.
In July of 1968, a true pioneer in the field of neonatology founded what would become his namesake – the Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center. This year marks the 50th birthday of the Newborn Center, or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Regional One Health. Dr. Sheldon B. Korones was in private practice in Memphis in 1968 when he decided to devote his practice to the care of critically ill infants. He was one of the first neonatologists in the United States to bring specially trained social workers and perinatal workers together to help the whole family cope with the challenges that result for a premature or critically ill newborn. The Newborn Center credits its success to a multidisciplinary approach to caring for patients, a legacy that has continued today under the leadership of Dr. Ramasubbareddy Dhanireddy.
Only the second medical director of the Newborn Center, Dr. Dhanireddy joined Regional One Health in 2005 when Dr. Korones retired.
“In the early days of neonatal intensive care, if a baby was born weighing two pounds, we would place them in the bed and call a priest. There was little to be done for them,” remembered Dr. Dhanireddy. “But not today. Today that baby born at 2 pounds has a 95 percent chance of survival.”
Technology advances, quality improvement initiatives and the passionate care of the entire NICU team makes success stories more the norm than the exception these days. The Newborn Center team includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, social workers and other perinatal specialists. In recent years, they have taken on new quality initiatives to continue the mission of reducing infant mortality rates and have earned recognition from the Vermont Oxford Network, a group of more than 850 neonatal ICUs from around the word. Many of our patient success stories will be shared in the coming months on this page and on social media.
Our NICU Stories
“I can’t imagine doing anything else!” For 20 years, Alisha Steele has provided exceptional care to Regional One Health’s tiniest patients
Alisha Steele has spent 20 years as a NICU nurse at Regional One Health, touching the lives of countless Mid-South babies and families. Alisha can't imagine working anywhere else, and said she loves caring for [...]
“How could I not help?” For Randa Rosenblum, supporting Regional One Health is a way to help improve the lives of all Memphians
Randa Rosenblum is involved with the Regional One Health Foundation as a donor, ONE Club member, and NICU volunteer. She says her service at the hospital, especially supporting NICU babies and nurses, is one of [...]
“They have a lot of love to give:” As a NICU baby and mom, Aniesha Boatwright knows the difference Regional One Health makes for Mid-South families
When Aniesha Boatwright needed an emergency C-section at just 25 weeks pregnant, she knew Regional One Health was the right place to be for both her and her baby. Aniesha herself was a Regional [...]
“They were with me every step of the way:” Tracey Edwards is grateful for exceptional NICU care and the chance to watch her baby grow
Tracey Edwards' daughter Ember was born at 27 weeks weighing just over 1 pound. Ember had a long fight ahead of her in the NICU...and with Tracey living 2 hours away, there were times [...]