Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Home / A–Z Services / Neonatology / Maury Regional Medical Center Neonatology
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Maury Regional Medical Center Neonatology

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) in Columbia, Tennessee, is a collaborative project between MRMC and the Vanderbilt Division of Neonatology of the Department of Pediatrics.

The MRMC NICU, which opened in 2006, is an eight-bed Level 2B unit providing family-focused and developmentally supportive care for sick newborns in Columbia and Southern Middle Tennessee, including the communities of Pulaski, Fayetteville and Lawrenceburg.

The NICU receives patients by referral from the pediatricians and obstetricians at MRMC and the surrounding region. Neonatal transport is provided by the Vanderbilt Neonatal Transport team.

In 2012, more than 170 infants were admitted to our unit.

Maury Regional Medical Center NICU

Meet our team
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff is a multidisciplinary team consisting of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, nurses, and respiratory therapists. The team is supported by lactation specialists, case management, pharmacy, dietary, radiology, laboratory, and social services.

The team leaders are Vanderbilt faculty neonatologists: Kimberly Shimer, M.D.Melinda Markham, M.D.Victoria DeVito, M.D., and Elizabeth Harrelson, M.D.

The neonatologists are board certified with specialized training and certification in newborn intensive care. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing medical direction of the practice and daily care for NICU patients.

The NICU is always staffed 24 hours a day by one of our in-house, Vanderbilt faculty neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP). An NNP is an advanced practice nurse who is trained and certified in the care of high-risk newborns. The MRMC NNP group includes:

  • Sharon Wilcox, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.N.P.- B.C.
  • Judy Christy, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.N.P.- B.C.
  • Kari Littrell, R.N., M.S.N., C.P.N.P., N.N.P.- B.C. 
  • Lisa White, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.N.P.-B.C.
  • Catherine Huskins, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.N.P.-B.C.
  • Jennifer Chase, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., N.N.P.- B.C.

The nurse practitioners attend high-risk deliveries, provide consulting and care of NICU patients, and leadership and education for the NICU staff. MRMC also has a group of dedicated NICU Registered Nurses (RNs) and Respiratory Therapists (RTs) who provide continuous care and make daily rounds with the Vanderbilt neonatology team to develop an individualized care plan for each NICU patient.

Maury Regional Medical Center NICU

Our services

Our NICU provides non-surgical care for newborns who are born at 32 weeks gestation or higher weighing more than 1,500 grams (3 pounds and 5 ounces). We provide specialized care for premature infants with conditions such as:

  • Apnea of prematurity (breathing pauses)
  • Inability to maintain body temperature (needing an incubator)
  • Inability to take food by mouth (needing feeding by a tube placed through the nose or mouth into the stomach)

We also care for infants who are moderately ill with problems that are expected to resolve rapidly without subspecialty services. Common problems we see are:

  • Late preterm infants (between 34 and 37 weeks gestation)
  • Infants with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), jaundice or infection

We can provide continuous monitoring of the infant's heart rate and breathing pattern, short-term ventilation, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), nasal cannula oxygen, intravenous nutrition and medications. We have excellent lactation support and actively promote breastfeeding for our patients. We have hospitality rooms where our families can "room in" with their infant prior to being discharged from the hospital. Visit our NICU Family Guide to learn about our visitation policies, safety measures, support services and more.

The neonatology team provides high quality, safe newborn intensive care to all infants born at MRMC, striving to keep babies and families close to home whenever possible. We work closely with the obstetricians at MRMC to transfer mothers when necessary, but occasionally an infant who needs a higher level of care available only at a Level 3 NICU is delivered at MRMC. In this situation, the infant is thoroughly assessed and stabilized by our team and then transported to the Level 3 NICU at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt by the Vanderbilt Neonatal Transport Team. In general, the following infants will be transferred to a Level 3 facility:

  • Infants who are less than 32 weeks gestation
  • Infants weighing less than 1,500 grams
  • Infants who have severe lung disease (needing long term or high frequency ventilation), pulmonary hypertension, neurologic problems (needing complex imaging, EEG), or other problems requiring pediatric surgical or pediatric medical subspecialty consultation, such as pediatric cardiology

When an infant from our region no longer requires Level 3 or subspecialty care at Children's Hospital, they are transferred back to MRMC for convalescent care and to be closer to home.

Maury Regional Medical CenterOur facilities
We are located on the fourth floor of Maury Regional Medical Center in a secure unit adjacent to the Newborn Nursery and Labor and Delivery. Visit the MRMC Web site for maps and directions.

NICU follow-up clinic
Some children who are born prematurely, have very low birth weight, or very sick at birth have problems with growth and development. These infants are referred to the NICU Follow up Clinic at Children's Hospital for comprehensive neuro-developmental testing starting at six months after birth.

Vermont Oxford Network (VON)
The NICU at Maury Regional is a member of VON. This non-profit voluntary collaboration of health care professionals from over 800 Neonatal Intensive Care Units around the world is dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical care for newborn infants and their families. VON maintains a database including information about the care and outcomes of high-risk newborn infants for use in quality management, process improvement, internal audit, and peer review.

Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC)
Our NICU team works with TIPQC to improve health outcomes for mothers and infants in Tennessee by community-based performance improvement initiatives.

Contact us

Maury Regional Medical Center
1224 Trotwood Avenue

Columbia, TN 38401 

Main Hospital Phone: (931) 381-1111
Neonatal ICU Phone: (931) 540-4261

Last Edited: June 7, 2016
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network