Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine – History of the Program

The training program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at UConn was established as a two-year program in 1973 under the supervision of Dr. John Raye, with a complement of two fellows. From its inception, the fellowship has played a prominent role in unifying and fostering neonatal intensive care resources in central Connecticut. In its early days fellows rotated through neonatal facilities at four area hospitals (New Britain General, UConn Health, Hartford Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital). The program was originally based at New Britain General Hospital, however Dr. Milton Markowitz, the first chair of the newly-established Department of Pediatrics at UConn School of Medicine, asked Dr. Raye to create a neonatal intensive care ward at UConn Health in Farmington as a solo neonatologist. Dr. Raye thus became the founding director of the UConn School of Medicine's first NICU, admitting its first infant on April 20, 1975. The fellowship program moved to UConn Health shortly thereafter.

Since 1977, fellowship rotations have been exclusively at the level III NICUs at UConn Health and Hartford Hospital/Connecticut Children's Medical Center. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Hartford Hospital was among the first neonatal ICUs in the United States, founded in 1969 as an eight-bed infant intensive care ward with a separate premature nursery near Labor and Delivery. In 1971, the infant intensive care and premature nurseries were merged in a single location to form a 22 bed neonatal/infant ICU, providing a growing regional resource for training in newborn care. By 1980, this unit became solely a neonatal intensive care ward. The current 32-bed NICU opened in November 1995 and was incorporated as a department of Connecticut Children's Medical Center when Connecticut Children's opened as the new home of the UConn School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics in 1996. The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program has been based at Connecticut Children's since 2011.

As of June 2017, 66 fellows have successfully completed training in the fellowship program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at UConn, and have contributed to the field of neonatology throughout the United States and internationally. We proudly continue our tradition of serving our patients and the neonatal-perinatal community by providing state-of-the-art, evidence-based training to the next generation of academic neonatologists.