For Referring Physicians

Every day, we care for the most complex critically ill newborns and premature infants from around the West and the nation. Our focus is caring for infants who require multidisciplinary subspecialty care, including those with multisystem illnesses, critical surgical needs, or rare diseases. We use innovative, leading-edge therapies in our outstanding Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to ensure their best chance at a good long-term outcome.

At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the core of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, and at our partner hospitals in the Bay Area, we offer 150+ neonatal intensive care beds. We partner with referring physicians to ensure the best possible outcomes for these highly complex newborns.

Stanford Children’s Neonatology care highlights

Highly specialized care for very small, fragile premature babies

  • We are known for our expertise in caring for very sick premature infants, including micro-preemies.
  • In the Nest, our specialized small-preemie unit, newborns 29 weeks and younger are cared for in a dedicated space that provides continuous monitoring and individualized care protocols for breathing, nutrition, and more. Our neonatal care also includes innovative ways for parents to interact with their infants, as well as psychological and emotional support for parents.

A wide array of multidisciplinary programs for newborns

Additionally, we coordinate with other pediatric specialists within Stanford Children’s to address other medical or surgical needs that newborns may have to ensure the best possible outcomes. These experts include cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons to successfully treat simple to highly complex congenital heart disease; medical geneticists to perform sophisticated genetic tests and analysis such as whole genome sequencing; aerodigestive experts to care for airway, pulmonary tract, or upper digestive tract abnormalities; endocrinologists to help manage neonatal diabetes; and cleft and craniofacial specialists to treat cleft lip and palate.  

We also partner with our Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program prior to delivery when families receive a challenging prenatal diagnosis, and a complex care and delivery plan is needed to ensure the best possible outcomes.

World-leading research that improves neonatal care

We employ the latest, research-driven innovations to improve neonatal care experience and outcomes. Highlights of our research include:

  • The Stanford University Prematurity Research Center, which takes a whole-system view of prematurity to discover ways to characterize and understand the factors that lead to preterm birth and other adverse outcomes.
  • We collaborate with Stanford Medicine’s Maternal and Child Health Research Institute, which focuses on early response and prematurity prevention, including diagnosing gestational age and predicting preterm delivery.
  • We are involved in large national research studies to improve outcomes—for example, we are one of 15 academic medical centers in the U.S. to participate in Neonatal Research Network clinical trials.

How we partner with you

When referring a neonatal patient to us, you can expect:

  • The opportunity to participate in our TeleNeo program, which provides 24/7 remote consultations with select hospitals via telehealth. This innovative program can help keep babies with challenging health needs in their community, at their home hospital, as well as provide the highest level of support during transport when a transfer to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is necessary.
  • Expert NICU-to-NICU transfer of a newborn with complex health conditions, should a newborn need to be transported to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
  • Seamless coordination of care when immediate intensive care and intervention is needed after delivery. We also work with our partner hospitals across the Bay Area so that babies can return closer to home when they no longer require specialty care at Stanford Children’s.
  • Ongoing communications with you, the referring physician, about the newborn’s hospital course after delivery.