Hartford, CT– Connecticut Children’s is excited to open a new Fetal Care Center in the state, which will provide the next generation of fetal care for families in New England and beyond. It is also the only Fetal Care Center in New England with a dedicated delivery unit. The Center will operate inside the health system’s main campus at 282 Washington in Hartford before relocating into the new tower expansion set to open in 2025.  

The Fetal Care Center at Connecticut Children’s treats mothers with babies who have been identified as high risk for serious birth defects or health conditions that may need advanced care in utero and soon after delivery. Thanks to the powerful Connecticut Children’s Pediatric Care Alliance with Hartford HealthCare this will allow for a seamless continuum of care for mom and baby.

“There is not another center in New England that will provide the same kind of care and experience for fetal diagnoses,” said Timothy Crombleholme, MD, Fetal Care Center director. “Mothers from New England should not have to travel to other centers to get fetal intervention.  We know expectant mothers and their babies have better outcomes when they receive care close to home. In addition, many families don’t have the means to travel long distances to fetal centers for help. Therefore we will bring these lifesaving procedures to the families of Connecticut and beyond to treat conditions like spina bifida, congenital diaphragmatic hernia and more.”

Other treatments include twin-twin transfusion syndrome procedures that tout the nation’s best survival rates and lowest complication rates, robotic fetoscopic myelomeningocele repair for the prenatal treatment of spina bifida and the FETO procedure, which stands for fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion. The FETO procedure is offered at only a handful of fetal centers for the treatment of severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

“This procedure involves placing a balloon in the trachea of the unborn baby to try to expand the lung on the side of the hernia and then removing that balloon prior to delivery,” said Crombleholme. “This is the only place in New England where families can access this therapy.”

“Connecticut Children’s is committed to advancing pediatric healthcare through innovative centers and programs like this,” said Bob Duncan, Chief Operating Officer, Connecticut Children’s. “This center is an invaluable resource to our state and region and will ensure expecting moms have access to the kind of compassionate and personalized care they deserve especially when trying to navigate so these complicated and complex fetal diagnoses.”

“The strong partnership we have maintained through the Pediatric Care Alliance has allowed us to seamlessly build this innovative resource,” said Bimal Patel, president of Hartford Hospital. “This center puts a spotlight on the exceptional expertise we have right here. Moms and families in our region who are in need of these specialized services can now have confidence that they will not have to travel long distances to receive truly world class care.”

Connecticut Children’s Fetal Care Center is just one of 15 centers in the country. It also features a dedicated nurse coordinator who serves as an integral member of the care team by coordinating and managing all of a mother’s needs, while she focuses on baby. The care provided in the Fetal Care Center includes a comprehensive, one-day evaluation that ends with a panel discussion of treatment options, the plan for pregnancy, delivery management and postnatal care. Experts from Hartford HealthCare’s Maternal Fetal Medicine and OB team will provide compassionate and expert care onsite for mom for all appointments and at birth.

“Our maternal-fetal medicine experts specialize in caring for individuals with high-risk pregnancies, using the latest technology and the most compassionate care,” said Adam Borgida, MD, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Hartford Hospital. During pregnancy, we work closely with each patient’s care team to create an individualized plan for mom and baby, using the most advanced testing and surveillance methods to identify issues before birth and care for mom and baby during delivery. I am incredibly proud of the integral role our maternal-fetal medicine specialists play in the Fetal Care Center and ensuring the best possible outcomes for everyone who needs these specialized services.”

“Moms will experience a unique and reassuring continuity of care from pregnancy through delivery.  Mom and baby stay together under one roof. Mom and baby will heal together with loved ones nearby,” said Dr. Crombleholme. “Connecticut Children’s fetal care center will be an invaluable resource to the state, region and nation. We are redefining the standard of care and saving lives in utero. It is surgery that was once beyond imagination and is now right here in your backyard.”

For more information, visit http://www.connecticutchildrens.org/fetalcare.

Media Contact:

mbuchanan [at] connecticutchildrens.org (Monica Buchanan), Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Connecticut Children’s

About Timothy Crombleholme, MD

The Fetal Care Center is led by Timothy M. Crombleholme, MD, one of the world’s most experienced fetal surgeons. Dr. Crombleholme is a leader in fetal surgery with decades of experience in fetoscopic surgery, open fetal surgery, image-guided fetal intervention, and EXIT procedures. Learn more at connecticutchildrens.org/Crombleholme

About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and a Magnet® designated hospital. Connecticut Children’s provides more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs to uniquely care for the physical, social, and emotional needs of children. Our team of pediatric experts and care coordinators bring access to breakthrough research, advanced treatments for both rare and common diseases, and innovative health and safety programs to every child. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare for all children through convenient locations, care alliances and partnerships.

About Hartford HealthCare

With 37,000 colleagues, Hartford HealthCare’s unified culture enhances access, affordability, equity and excellence. Its care-delivery system — with nearly 500 locations serving 185 towns and cities — includes two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, a behavioral health network, a multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, a mobile neighborhood health program and a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation network. On average, Hartford HealthCare touches more than 17,000 lives every single day. The unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a unified high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut offering unparalleled excellence at the most affordable cost. The institutes include: Ayer Neuroscience, Behavioral Health, Cancer, Digestive Health, Heart & Vascular, Orthopedics and Tallwood Urology & Kidney. Visit Hartford HealthCare at www.HartfordHealthCare.org and stay connected through newsletters and social media.