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Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to expand state’s only fetal center

Children’s Wisconsin announced today that it is opening a new state-of-the-art space for the Fetal Concerns Center in May. The 7,337-square-foot center located adjacent to the Herma Heart Institute will better accommodate the innovation, growth and success of the nationally leading program. The program has seen a 45 percent increase in patients over the last four years.

Founded in 2000, the Fetal Concerns Center specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and comprehensive care coordination for women with high-risk pregnancies. It is the only program in Wisconsin and one of a few in the country that performs complex fetal surgeries and interventions to improve outcomes following delivery.

The Fetal Concerns Center’s new location will provide a designated space for patients to receive collaborative care from Children’s Wisconsin and Medical College of Wisconsin specialists.

The Fetal Concerns Center has performed more than 100 surgeries on babies in utero since 2011. It made headlines in 2014 when doctors performed the first prenatal spina bifida surgery in Wisconsin. Since then, nine more spina bifida surgeries have been done.

In addition to spina bifida, the Fetal Concerns Center treats and coordinates care for all types of fetal conditions, including twin-twin transfusion syndrome and congenital heart disease.

“Children’s Wisconsin’s Fetal Concerns Center performs incredibly innovative and cutting-edge procedures,” said Kristi Rapp, program director of the Fetal Concerns Center. “Our new space will be a reflection of the outstanding care we offer mothers and their soon-to-be born babies.”

The new clinic space will include five consultation rooms and six exam rooms, where ultrasounds and echocardiograms will be performed.

Construction on the existing space began in December 2017. Children’s Wisconsin is working with The Boldt Company and Zimmerman Architectural Studios on the project.

The new center’s opening will require the hiring of several new employees beginning with a medical assistant and OB-GYN nurse, according to Rapp.

The Fetal Concerns Center physician leadership team is comprised of neonatologists, maternal fetal medicine specialists, fetal and pediatric surgeons, fetal cardiologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, and fetal imaging specialists. The team works in close collaboration with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin to deliver high quality, comprehensive fetal care.

Patients of the Fetal Concerns Center also have access to a world-class neonatal intensive care unit and surgical services. Children’s Wisconsin is home to the state’s largest level IV NICU, with 70 private rooms, and it is co-located with Froedtert’s high-risk birth center.