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Press Release

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Renews Membership of Women & Infants in Neonatology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Research Groups
07/08/2011

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) recently announced it would renew the membership of Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode in its Maternal Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network and Neonatal Research Network (NRN).

Women & Infants remains one of just eight medical centers in the nation, and the only one in New England, that is part of both the MFMU and NRN networks.

“This is an incredible validation of the breadth and quality of research we are capable of here at Women & Infants,” said Constance Howes, president and CEO of the hospital. “Our memberships have been renewed because we are able to enroll patients in the high-level trials being conducted by the two networks, and, therefore, are contributing to a better health care environment and improved outcomes for women and newborns.”

The NICHD created the MFMU and NRN in 1986 to focus on clinical questions in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics, especially the problem of premature birth.

There are 14 university-based clinical centers and a data coordinating center in the MFMU Network, which has completed more than 30 randomized clinical trials to date. There are 18 university-based clinical centers and a data coordinating center in the NRN. Women & Infants and Brown University are the only New England sites for either network.

“The goal of the MFMU Network is to improve maternal and fetal outcomes by studying and better understanding the perinatal period,” said Dwight Rouse, MD, MSPH, principal investigator of the Women & Infants MFMU site. “We want to reduce the rate of premature birth, fetal growth abnormalities and maternal complications during pregnancy.

“The Neonatal Research Network has been focused on testing therapies for sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage, chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension, as well as the effect of drug exposure in utero on child and family outcomes,” added Abbot R. Laptook, MD, principal investigator of the NRN at Women & Infants.

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