Patrick McNamara, MB, BCH, BAO, DCH, MSc (Paeds), MRCP, MRCPCH
Division Director 

The nationally recognized Division of Neonatology is committed to providing innovative, comprehensive, high-quality care from our team of physicians, advanced practice nurses, RNs and other health care professionals that results in the best outcomes for infants cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Each year, approximately 900 babies receive a range of neonatal services in the 88-bed NICU, Iowa’s only Level IV NICU that has been consistently ranked among the top NICUs in the country for over 10 years.

The scope and expertise of divisional neonatologists and pediatric colleagues is such that they are resourced to provide a level of care and services unavailable in most NICUs, including Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The program is globally recognized for clinical excellence in the provision of highly specialized management, including  years of experience in the use of high-frequency ventilation, of infants born as early as 22 weeks gestation. The Hemodynamic program offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular assessment using advanced echocardiography methods and is regarded not only as a leader within the state and country, but is internationally regarded through its leadership role in the Pan-American Hemodynamic Collaborative. The commitment to family-focused care starts before the birth of the baby through partnership with the Maternal/Fetal Medicine Program in the multidisciplinary Perinatal Care Clinic, offering specialized care to mothers carrying fetuses with known birth defects. This dedication extends to operation of the Neonatal High-Risk Follow-up Program, which monitors the physical and cognitive development of high-risk patients, providing information, education and support for families.

The commitment to excellent clinic care includes involvement in basic science and clinical investigative research with a focus on translating new discoveries into better ways to deliver care, treat life-threatening neonatal illnesses and improve outcomes. As one of only 18 members of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored Neonatal Research Network, NICU physicians conduct cutting edge, multi-center clinical trials aimed at reducing infant morbidity and mortality while promoting health outcomes. Other research, funded by the NIH, the March of Dimes, the Gates Foundation, and the Thrasher Foundation is focused on the genetics of prematurity, cardiovascular mechanisms of disease and treatments, neonatal nutrition, gastrointestinal diseases and understanding the long term health risks for preterm and growth-restricted infants. The establishment of the Savvy Ferentz endowed fund to promote neonatal research is a pivotal step in promoting innovative and practice changing research for extremely preterm infants. This work will help shape the way physicians provide care for infants around the world.

The Division of Neonatology’s mission includes educating future generations of neonatologists as well as teaching pediatric residents, medical students and nurses. Graduates of our Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Training Program, first established in 1975, have become leaders in neonatal clinical care, research and education. The division is also home to the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program, funded through the Iowa Department of Public Health, whose goal is to provide development of standards/guidelines of care, consultation to regional and primary providers and evaluation of the quality of care delivered to reduce the mortality and morbidity of mothers and infants. Finally, the Hemodynamics fellowship (1-2 years) which provides advanced training in Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography, further contributes to our mission in developing leaders in academic medicine and driving transformative change in neonatology.

As the division continues to grow and excel, exciting new opportunities are developing for expansion of preeminent clinical services, cutting-edge basic and translational research, innovative educational programs and excellence in quality improvement. Members of the Division of Neonatology are committed to patients receiving a consistent, safe and excellence standard of care through the course of illness. This includes extensive involvement in shaping local, state and national policy, serving on editorial and research review committees and leading statewide and national efforts to improve neonatal care.

Division Contact Information

University of Iowa Stead Family Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatology
8803 John Pappajohn Pavilion
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: (319) 467-7435

Division Support Staff

Jill Kinnaird
Administrative Coordinator, Division of Neonatology
Phone: (319) 384-5258

Donate to Neonatal Research and Programming at Stead Family Children's Hospital