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Mount Sinai Clinician Working to Improve the Health of Premature Babies Around the World

Dr. Prakesh Shah, one of Mount Sinai Hospital’s neonatologists has just received a grant for $925,000 from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to lead a worldwide initiative, called the “International Network for Evaluation of Outcomes (iNeo) of Neonates: A Quality Improvement Project via Collaborative Comparison of International Health Services for Neonatal Care.” The grant awards him a “CIHR Applied Research Chair in Reproductive and Child Health Services and Policy Research”.

2013-02-15 Dr. Prakesh Shah for CIHR grant.jpgThe study will bring together experts from neonatal networks in nine countries - Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom –who will look at a number of indicators for premature babies including rates of severe lung disease, severe eye disease and infections. The researchers will also look at the human and environmental factors in the neonatal intensive care units and how these impact a baby’s health.

Some of the questions that the study hopes to answer are: Are babies healthier when parents have better access to them? How does the physical environment in the neonatal intensive care unit impact a baby’s health?

“We know that some countries and even some hospitals are better at addressing some health challenges facing premature babies than others,” said Dr. Prakesh Shah, Staff Neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, Director of the Canadian Neonatal Network and lead researcher for the study. “This study will help us understand how a baby is cared for impacts their health and what we as clinicians can do to improve their quality of life.”

Dr. Shah’s research compliments the research conducted by Dr. Shoo Lee, Paediatrician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and founder of the Canadian Neonatal Network. Dr. Shah is expanding this to take this initiative to a broader international level.