The Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) Fellowship Program at Women & Infants is designed to provide an in-depth experience in both clinical medicine and research. As the major obstetric referral center for the region, the hospital consults with obstetric patients having a wide variety of clinical problems. MFM specialists also provide both consultative and comprehensive care throughout pregnancy for patients with chronic medical problems and fetal anomalies requiring specialized care.
The large clinical volume at Women & Infants allows access to an ample number of potential study patients to support clinical research addressing both common and uncommon problems. Our close relationship with Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University also provides many opportunities to collaborate with established researchers doing clinical, translational, and basic science research. Because Women & Infants is a sub-specialty hospital providing female and neonatal health care, there is a close working relationship among all the divisions, which also fosters collaboration.
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The Edward Cardillo Health Sciences Library, situated on the third floor at Women & Infants, provides free access to a host of electronic databases for literature search and retrieval. The hospital's affiliation with Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University provides access to more than 3,000 electronic online journals and older periodicals. Journals are available through links to other libraries and university facilities. Access to these databases is available from individual offices and through networked computers.
Brown offers individualized training for fellows and faculty on the use of scientific informatics' resources. The library staff provides reference retrieval services, such as interlibrary loan, for obscure or out-of-date publications and books. The library also has computer workstations, scanners, and copy machines. Additional learning opportunities are provided through numerous electronic teaching and educational resources.
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Research Facility Laboratory
Basic and translational research is performed at the hospital's Kilguss Research Institute, a 30,000-square foot wet laboratory, multiuser facility in the Jewelry Distric. Investigators use this facility to address specific research questions in reproductive biology and women's health. Investigators have access to core facilities and equipment, including PCR machines, real-time PCR, flow cytometer, histology work station, cell culture stations (BL-1 and 2), flexi-cell system, dark room, image documentation, microscopes (upright and inverted), plate readers, and a cold room facility.
The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine has approximately 1,000 square feet of wet lab space dedicated to basic and translational research. The investigators at Kilguss are currently studying problems such as cervical remodeling, preterm labor, inflammation, hypertension in pregnancy, and development of the brain, heart, and lung. Animals are housed in a neighboring facility operated by Rhode Island Hospital. The Jewelry District houses core research laboratory facilities for Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital and Women & Infants, allowing for the pooling of resources. Each of these facilities is within one to two blocks of each other, providing access to specialized equipment for genetic, proteomic, and structural analysis.
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The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine is an active member of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network sponsored by the NICHD, through which it participates in various clinical trials related to improving pregnancy outcomes. As a member institution, many of the MFMU resources are available to fellows seeking to answer research questions. The Division is also a member of the National Normal Fetal Growth Study (NFGS), and has participated in a variety of multicenter trials, including the international Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) study and the FASTER trial evaluating the use of ultrasound and serum screening for the detection of Trisomy 21. The Division was also a participant in the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network.
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants has received institutional awards to assist in collaborative research and faculty development. The COBRE award in reproductive biology (NIH) provides infrastructure and salary support for translational and basic research projects. This award also is used to provide salary support for individual investigators early in their career. The Department and Brown have been designated a Center of Excellence in Women's Health. One of the goals of this award is to develop interdisciplinary research directed at improving women's health. For example, this program provides financial support for educational programs and small pilot projects designed to improve women's health.
The WRHR (Women's Reproductive Health Research) program, sponsored by the NIH, is designed to help obstetricians develop into competitive investigators. The award provides salary support, protected research time, and financial research support for up to three junior faculty members trained in obstetrics and gynecology. This program is ideal for sub-specialty trained individuals who wish to continue research program development during the early phases of their career. The Department's Research Division provides statistical support and consulting for individuals interested in running clinical trials by helping with research design and providing space for seeing and evaluating enrolled patients.
Women & Infants is an affiliate and teaching hospital for Brown University and its Warren Alpert Medical School. We are involved in medical education at multiple levels through the university and support many of the research facilities at Brown and our neighboring Rhode Island Hospital. The affiliation provides easy access to the basic sciences and other clinical sciences in medicine. Brown is located within one mile of the hospital campus, providing easy access to other departments such as Engineering, History, and Community Health.
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Clinical Facilities - Inpatient
The Labor and Delivery Suite is located on the second floor of the hospital and has 20 labor/delivery/recovery rooms. In addition, there is an alternative birthing center for low-risk deliveries. The hospital operating rooms are adjacent and three operating rooms are dedicated to obstetrics. All rooms are equipped with central fetal monitors. The unit has 24-hour anesthesia coverage and the ability for invasive monitoring. Portable ultrasound machines are available on the unit with color and pulsed Doppler capability. Patients with Invasive monitoring can be followed in the post-anesthesia care unit , the acute monitoring service, or in the Intensive Care Units at Rhode Island Hospital which is physically connected to Women & Infants.
The Antepartum unit is located in the South Pavilion on the 4th floor. All rooms are single rooms. The unit is equipped with fetal monitors so that NST's can be performed at the bedside. Portable ultrasound machines are available on the unit. Detailed ultrasound exams are supervised by the Maternal Fetal Medicine faculty using state of the art equipment. Invasive fetal procedures are performed in the operating rooms with trained personnel. The fetal surgery program operates in conjunction with the pediatric surgery program centered at Rhode Island Hospital.
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Clinical Facilities - Outpatient
The Maternal Fetal Medicine Service provides antenatal care for high risk pregnancies at the Women's Primary Care Center on the fifth floor of the Outpatient Medical Facility, 2 Dudley Street. Clinics occur on various half days throughout the week. The clinic is staffed by diabetic nurse educators, nutritionists, social workers, and perinatal nurses. A portable ultrasound unit is available for use to practitioners. Blood drawing, obstetrical ultrasound, and antenatal testing facilities are also located immediately adjacent to our outpatient offices.
The Prenatal Diagnosis Center is a comprehensive center run by the Maternal Fetal Medicine division that performs prenatal diagnosis via complex ultrasound exams, Doppler, fetal echocardiography, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling, and also provides genetic counseling and fetal testing. This targeted ultrasound facility is equipped with GE Voluson E8 machines, and is staffed by RDMS certified technologists. This unit also has trained perinatal nurses who perform NSTs, amniotic fluid assessments, and biophysical profiles. Trained genetic counselors are available 5 days a week and provide counseling by appointment or on an urgent basis when necessary. Counselors provide follow up and referral services when needed. The Prenatal Diagnosis Center is open 5 days per week.
The Maternal Fetal Medicine Division also provides prenatal diagnosis and consultative services at multiple offsite facilities, in Rhode Island (Wakefield) , Connecticut (Norwich) , and Massachusetts (New Bedford, Fall River, and Foxboro).
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