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Neonatal‑Perinatal Medicine

Newborn knowledge

In the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine of the Department of Pediatrics, we take a holistic approach to our work by including an emphasis on clinical care, strong educational programs and a range of research interests.

Clinical activities

We’re involved in a number of clinical activities through the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. These include:

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): This is the primary tertiary obstetrical and newborn care unit for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We also receive patients who have been referred from New Brunswick and Newfoundland for specialized services such as surgery and other pediatric sub-specialty review. There are approximately 1,000 admissions to the NICU each year.

We work closely with obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists to provide antenatal neonatology consultations. Patients in NICU also benefit from the contributions of various pediatric and surgical subspecialists.

The NICU team works in a collaborative way with a wide variety of health care professionals, including:

  • clinical associates
  • neonatal nurse practitioners
  • nurses
  • respiratory therapists
  • nutritionists
  • social workers
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapist

Reproductive Care Program (RCP) of Nova Scotia: The program works directly with health care facilities and hospital- and community-based health professionals to promote excellence in the provision of reproductive care. The program accomplishes this by:

  • facilitating the interpretation and implementation of national standards of practice at local levels
  • responding to the education and professional needs of care-providers across the province
  • facilitating the use of health information to improve outcomes for women and newborns

The faculty members within the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine provide clinical expertise and leadership to the program, participate in review and educational experiences and contribute to standard and guideline review.

Perinatal Follow-up Program: The Perinatal Follow-Up Program is an ambulatory service that provides assessment and support programs for high-risk infants up to 36 months of age. These include babies who are:

  • born at a gestational age of less than 31 weeks
  • have a birth weight less than 1500 grams
  • experience severe birth depression including those who undergo therapeutic hypothermia treatment

Although the program is based on Nova Scotia’s population, we also follow Prince Edward Island infants who have been transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as infants through our outreach clinics in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Teaching activities

We participate in education at all levels. This includes:

Undergraduate medical education: 
Division members work as tutors for the case-based learning (CBL) curriculum, providing assistance in the following areas:

  • foundations of medicine
  • human development
  • metabolism II (cardiovascular and respiratory)
  • professional competencies

They also participate in other undergraduate teaching activities including:

  • newborn physical examination for Med 2 students
  • newborn health seminar for Med 3 students
  • objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) for Med 3 and Med 4 students
  • annual clinical review and examination preparation sessions for Med 4 students
  • neonatal-perinatal medicine electives for Med 1-4 students
  • Research in Medicine (RIM) program

Postgraduate medical training: 
Division members participate in the clinical and non-clinical teaching activities of several Royal College accredited programs at Dalhousie University including:

The division also hosts postgraduate elective students from a variety of other residency programs locally and nationally.

Continuing Medical Education: We also offer clinical education in newborn care to community family practitioners and pediatricians.

Research interests

Our members’ interests span a number of important areas of neonatal-perinatal medicine, including:

  • maternal and newborn epidemiology
  • neonatal physiology and pathophysiology
  • the effects of the environment of the fetus and newborn
  • outcomes in high-risk neonatal populations
  • respiratory distress in the newborn
  • neonatal cardiovascular imaging
  • predictions of long-term disability
  • clinical trials

Please note that individual areas of interest are listed within faculty profiles.

Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit (PERU): With a team of leading researchers and access to one of the world’s longest running, most extensive perinatal databases (Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database) and other comprehensive data sets, PERU provides insight into pressing issues in women’s and children’s health. These include the growing problems of obesity and exposures to environmental toxins.

Our people

Faculty

Post-retired faculty

  • Dr. Alexander Allen, professor, MD, FRCPC
  • Dr. Robin Whyte, professor, MD, FRCPC

Affiliated PhD scientists

  • Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo
  • Dr. Celeste Johnson
  • Dr. Bonnie Stevens

Fellows

  • Dr. Ali Almudeer
  • Dr. Ameer Aslam
  • Dr. Satvinder Ghotra

Clinical associates

  • Dr. Nargis Haque
  • Dr. Vijay Khanna
  • Dr. Zaki Shamout
  • Dr. Halina Smigas
  • Dr. Jie Xu

Neonatal nurse practitioners

  • Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo
  • Elise Fieldhouse
  • Heather Leadbetter
  • Arthena MacDonald
  • Helen McCord
  • Darlene McKinnon
  • Della Morrison
  • Nancy O’Neill
  • Jaime Perrin

Support staff

  • Nicole Geddes, administrative assistant

  • Kerry Ann Gibson, administrative assistant
  • Karen Inkpen, administrative assistant

  • Wendy Mitchell, administrative assistant 

  • Debbie Arsenault, data abstractor
  • Marlene Furlong, research coordinator
  • Tara Hatfield, research assistant

Contact information

Email: nicole.geddes@iwk.nshealth.ca
Phone: 902-470-6473
Fax: 902-470-6469

Address:
Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
IWK Health Centre

5850/5980 University Ave

PO Box 9700

Halifax, NS  B3K 6R8