Columbus Hospital Systems Form Unique 'Columbus Fetal Medicine Collaborative'

April 7, 2010

The Columbus Fetal Medicine Collaborative has been formed by Mount Carmel Health System, OhioHealth, The Ohio State University Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital joining together to provide optimal outcomes for high-risk expectant mothers and their babies with suspected fetal abnormalities.  This collaboration among all the Columbus hospital systems is one of only a few in the U.S. and brings together a unique blend of medical experience and expertise.  The Collaborative offers parents and their babies a comprehensive range of services and treatment options in family-centered environments, including the most advanced diagnostic capabilities available today.  The effort is designed to address the complex issues associated with high-risk maternal and fetal care while offering the additional opportunity for shared education and research among the participating organizations.

Richard O’Shaughnessy, MD, director of the fetal treatment program at Ohio State University Medical Center and professor of maternal fetal medicine, and Donna A. Caniano, MD, surgeon-in-chief and chief of pediatric surgery at Nationwide Children's Hospital, co-chair the Columbus Fetal Medicine Collaborative.

“This is a unique collaboration among many of Columbus' most experienced healthcare professionals," says O'Shaughnessy.  "This partnership demonstrates the importance of the prenatal period in human development and that the best prenatal care includes not only the mother but her developing baby. Our goal is to optimize the outcome for both mother and baby in complicated pregnancies."

The Collaborative is structured to work closely with perinatologists (physicians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies) to identify all issues, determine the best possible treatments, and provide continuous support from fetal diagnosis through newborn care.  A comprehensive range of specialties are available including Cardiology, Pediatric Surgery, Neonatology, Neurosurgery, Interventional Radiology, Imaging, Anesthesia, Craniofacial Surgery, Neurology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Orthopedics, Clinical Genetics, Urology, Otolaryngology and Hospice and Palliative Care.

“The Columbus Fetal Medicine Collaborative is a unique commitment from Ohio State, OhioHealth, Mount Carmel and Nationwide Children’s to offer our patients ---- pregnant women, their families and infants with at-risk fetal conditions ---- the expertise of highly experienced and technically gifted perinatologists, pediatric surgeons, neonatologists and other pediatric specialists who can address all maternal and fetal issues to offer the best outcomes,” said Caniano.  “A significant additional benefit of the Collaborative will be the ability to conduct maternal-fetal and neonatal services research of the highest caliber which will enable us to provide state-of-the-art patient care.  Pregnant women can feel confident that they are receiving the best available care for their at-risk infants.”

The Collaborative members meet monthly for case conferences to assure a seamless integrated approach to comprehensive services provided  by a fetal medicine coordinator who schedules tests,  arranges appointments with specialists, and can assist in selecting a perinatologist.  Most importantly, the fetal medicine coordinator is available to answer questions and serve as a single resource of information from the moment of referral to the Collaborative.

Each hospital maintains its own telemedicine suite consisting of large flat screen panel monitors, high definition cameras and supporting transmission technology. Telemedicine technology allows the sharing of both video (ultrasound images, live speakers/moderators) and static information (x-ray images, lab results, MRI pictures, etc) which is critical for consensus-building amongst various clinical disciplines. An immediate sharing of clinical information regarding diagnosis, treatment options and windows for intervention can be accommodated via telemedicine as needed.

Access the Columbus Fetal Medicine Collaborative website at

Mount Carmel Health System
Mount Carmel is a place where miracles happen. Little Miracles.  For women with high-risk pregnancies, those miracles happen in part thanks to the personal care they receive from the maternal fetal medicine specialists at the Maternal Fetal Diagnostic Center at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s.  The center provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnostic and monitoring services and genetic counseling that can detect pregnancy complications and fetal abnormalities.  Those findings allow physicians and patients to take precautions and ensure that our patients’ pregnancies -- and their babies -- are as safe and healthy as possible. The center has been recognized by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and approved as a satellite research site for The Ohio State University Medical Center Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine. It’s a designation that demonstrates Mount Carmel’s place on the cutting edge of maternal fetal medicine and our commitment to caring for high-risk pregnancies.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 list of America’s Best Pediatric Hospitals, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a collaborative environment that fosters forward thinking and innovation. Each year more than 4,400 babies receive the highest level of care from our neonatal specialists. As one of the largest neonatal centers in the nation, we dedicate ourselves not only to treating, but ultimately preventing all complications of prematurity. This extraordinary number of patients allows us to provide the highest level of experience and translate that experience into programs that address fetal diagnosis across the spectrum of newborn conditions to essential long-term follow-up care.

Superior clinical expertise coupled with a genuine compassion for the care of moms-to-be and a strong commitment to communication with patients and physicians has differentiated the OhioHealth Maternal-Fetal Medicine team. OhioHealth has five hospital locations in central Ohio with diagnostic and fetal-monitoring capabilities to manage high-risk pregnancy complications. As a destination for highly specialized care for pregnant women, Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital provides personalized care for women who are at risk for pregnancy related problems. Our highly trained and experienced team includes ultrasound technologists, nurse clinicians, genetic counselors and maternal-fetal medicine specialists. In addition, Riverside Methodist has received disease-specific certification from the Joint Commission in High-Risk Obstetrics and has a dedicated High Risk In-patient Unit. From the superior medical care to the trusted experience of the staff, the Maternal-Fetal Medicine team is devoted to exceeding patient expectations and providing the best possible care for moms and their babies.

The Ohio State University Medical Center
For more than 25 years, OSU Maternal Fetal Medicine has been delivering the very best prenatal care to patients who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, and today, we continue our collaborative approach. As an academic medical center, we leverage our team of highly trained experts to employ the latest developments to deliver personalized health care to both mother and baby.  Our team of eleven specialists, many of whom have been designated as America’s Best Doctors – provide patients with the highest level of obstetrical care. As a member of the North American Fetal Treatment Network and an active participant in numerous collaborative research efforts, we provide many opportunities to participate in research.  Our established Fetal Treatment program provides a means to correct or improve some of the earliest detected problems while your baby is still in utero.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at