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Collaboration Extends Neonatal Care For The Concho Valley

Hospital news | Thursday, July 15, 2021

Contact: Lyndy Stone

Shannon Medical Center, Cook Children’s Healthcare System and Pediatrix Medical Group, a Mednax company, are collaborating together in a new partnership to continue neonatology services and further enhance neonatal care in the Concho Valley. The three organizations will be working together to ensure continuous provider coverage for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients at Shannon while also sharing innovative best practices and models of care between the hospitals. This partnership is the first of its kind between pediatric providers in Texas.

Shannon Women’s & Children’s Hospital and the Shannon South Hospital welcome almost 2,000 babies each year. It is estimated between 10 and 15 percent of all newborns need additional neonatal care at birth. As the first certified Level II Neonatal Facility (Special Care Nursery) in the region, Shannon provides care for those newborns with special needs or requiring additional intervention.

To help support these infants and the Shannon NICU team, a full-time neonatal physician from Pediatrix will serve as the program’s medical director and provide day-to-day medical coverage for these patients in the NICU. Additionally, the Cook Children’s NICU team will work with the Shannon NICU team to provide shared quality guidelines and education for staff on emerging research, including best practices and procedures for care. Cook Children’s is currently certified as a Level IV NICU, the highest level that can be achieved by a NICU.

“Cook Children’s has served as a long-time partner in care for many of our local patients in need of access to higher level specialty care at their facility or through their telemedicine program,” said Shane Plymell, CEO at Shannon. “We are pleased to partner with their renowned program to continue providing neonatal care here at home for our patients. This unique collaboration will combine the experience of our pediatric providers with Cook’s specialty expertise and knowledge, along with having dedicated neonatal specialists on site to provide the best possible care to our tiniest patients. We look forward to advancing neonatal care to the next level for our region.”

“This unique partnership is a great example of how health care organizations can work together to fill a vital need for San Angelo and surrounding counties in western and central Texas,” said Rick W. Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System. “In addition to providing staff education, we will continue to offer exceptional clinical services and support for critically-ill children via our Level IV NICU, which is the highest level of designation for neonatal care available in the country.”

“We are thrilled to extend our long-standing partnership with Cook Children’s,” said Mike Dwyer, M.D., market president for Mednax. “For decades, Pediatrix and Cook Children’s have partnered to provide state-of-the-art neonatal care for the community’s most vulnerable infants. We look forward to extending this relationship to San Angelo where together, Pediatrix, Cook Children’s and Shannon will continue our long history of providing high-quality, specialized care for premature neonates.”

About Shannon Medical Center

Shannon Medical Center is proud to be the largest, locally-based health care provider for the Concho Valley and surrounding region in west Texas. Based in San Angelo, Shannon serves a 25-county region. For more than 89 years, the Shannon mission has focused on providing exceptional healthcare for its family, friends and neighbors. Together with Shannon Clinic, Shannon provides access to more than 350 providers in 40 medical specialties across 25 locations. Shannon’s services include nationally-recognized cardiac and stroke programs with the AirMed air ambulance, designated Level III Trauma Facility which has been named top Trauma Facility in the state, and a designated Women’s & Children’s Hospital certified as a Level II NICU facility. For more information, visit

About Cook Children’s Healthcare System

Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization encompasses nine companies – a medical center, two surgery centers, a physician network, home health services and a health plan. It also includes Child Study Center at Cook Children's, Cook Children's Health Services Inc., and Cook Children's Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet their unique needs. For more information, visit

About Mednax

Mednax, Inc. is a national medical group comprised of the nation’s leading providers of physician services. Physicians and advanced practitioners practicing as part of Mednax are reshaping the delivery of care within their specialties and subspecialties, using evidence-based tools, continuous quality initiatives, clinical research and telehealth programs to enhance patient outcomes and provide high-quality, cost-effective care. The Company was founded in 1979, and today, through its affiliated professional entities, Mednax provides services through a network of more than 2,300 physicians in 39 states and Puerto Rico. Additional information is available at

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