NICU Follow Up Program

Doctor playing with twins
NICU Follow-Up Program

What is the purpose of the NICU Follow-Up Program? 

The purpose of the NICU Follow-Up Program is to provide ongoing evaluation and guidance related to the development of high-risk children during the first three years of life. The goal of this program is to make sure that these children are developing to the best of their ability. If a child experiences developmental problems, we give with suggestions for fostering their child's development at home and help the family get the early intervention services needed in their community.

Who attends the NICU Follow-Up Program?

Most children seen in our program were born prematurely (< 32 weeks gestation or <1,500 grams). Other children were bigger and older when they were born but had a difficult newborn period. Many children spent some of their newborn time in a NICU. Parents who are worried about their child's development should talk with their child's pediatrician, or other primary health care provider, to see if a referral to our program is a good idea.

What happens during a NICU Follow-Up appointment?

During an appointment, a neonatologist evaluates the child's health, growth, and development. The doctor also answers questions that parents have regarding their child's behavior, development, and health. If needed, a child may also see one of the following developmental specialists who are part of our multidisciplinary team: developmental pediatrician, early intervention service coordinator, infant specialist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, psychologist, or speech and language pathologist. At the end of the appointment, we summarize our findings for the family, offer recommendations, and provide educational handouts to help parents foster their child's development at home. With parent permission, a comprehensive report is then sent to the child's pediatrician and, if applicable, to the child's early intervention program.

When do children attend clinic appointments?

The first NICU follow-up appointment for most children is at 3-4 months of age; for a variety of reasons, some children have their first appointment at a later age. After the first appointment, children are seen every 4-6 months until three years of age. The NICU Follow-Up Clinic is not designed to provide primary health care; instead, clinic personnel work with a child's pediatrician to foster a child's development.

How is an appointment made?

Parents can make an appointment by calling 410-328-6749. NICU follow-up appointments are from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm on Wednesdays in the 5th Floor Pediatric Subspecialty Clinic. Please note that if a child's insurance requires a referral, parents are responsible for obtaining the referral and bringing it with them to the appointment or checking with the doctor to be sure it was sent. In addition to bringing the referral, parents may want to bring any medications that their child is on; this will let the doctors know exactly what the child is taking and the concentrations. It is also helpful when parents bring the child's immunization record and any relevant medical or developmental reports. If parents prefer, these documents can be sent directly to the Program Coordinator, Dr. Brenda Hussey-Gardner via fax (410-328-1076) or mail (Division of Neonatology, 29 South Greene Street, GS110C, Baltimore, MD 21201).

For further information about our program, please contact Dr. Hussey-Gardner via email ( or phone (410-328-8782). To make an appointment, please call 410-328-6749.

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