Franciscan Health Crown Point and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago announced a new partnership that the two organizations say will bring one of the nation’s top neonatology programs to Northwest Indiana. Beginning September 2022, Lurie Children’s neonatologists will staff the 20-bed Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Franciscan Health Crown Point, caring for the most vulnerable babies and their families close to home.

“Lurie Children’s is excited to partner with Franciscan Health Crown Point on creating a regional center of excellence for neonatology in Northwest Indiana,” said Tom Shanley, MD, President & CEO of Lurie Children’s. “Infants and their families will receive the highest level of care, with access to expertise from a network of more than 1,800 of Lurie Children’s specialists for phone consults, with the convenience of remaining close to their homes.”

The vast majority of pediatric care is outpatient care, making the maintenance of highly specialized inpatient services such as neonatology difficult for hospitals to sustain. Collaborative partnerships are an efficient way to bring these highly specialized services to communities where they are needed and where local hospitals already exist.

“Our partnership with Lurie Children’s, Chicago’s finest and one of the country’s pre-eminent hospitals for pediatric care, will further enhance the neonatal care we have provided for over a decade,” said Franciscan Health Crown Point President and CEO Dan McCormick, MD. “Neonatology services are a perfect example where collaborative partnerships with hospitals such as Lurie Children’s make sense both medically and economically.”

The neonatology program at Lurie Children’s is ranked #9 in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. Franciscan Health Crown Point will be Lurie Children’s 10th outreach site for neonatology services at local hospitals.