Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) employs a highly-skilled group of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) physicians, called neonatologists, who are well equipped to care for premature babies as early as 28 weeks. PMC’s impressive group is comprised of Myla Santiago, MD, Cheryl Eads, MD, PhD, and NICU Medical Director Todd Hambleton, MD. They are all expertly trained to provide the specialized care needed to get early babies ready to go home to their families.

Dr. Santiago is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Hambleton and Dr. Eads are both board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Hambleton is also board certified in neonatal-perinatal medicine.

In addition to leading the way for advanced care for premature babies at PMC, Dr. Hambleton also gives back to the community in a special way. He has worked closely with the March of Dimes for the past seven years, serving on their local committee as well as the March of Dimes Committee for Maternal-Child Health in Kentucky. He has even served as March of Dimes Honorary Chair for Pike County, helping to raise funds and awareness for prematurity in eastern Kentucky. Dr. Hambleton was also part of the PMC Delegation at the Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative, dedicated to improving maternal and infant health in the commonwealth.

Eastern Kentucky has a rate of premature births higher than the national average. There are a host of issues that a premature baby would need specialized care for. “The earlier a baby is born, the more likely they are to have problems. Lung development is a common issue that many premature babies face,” Dr. Hambleton explained. “This can result in the baby needing ventilator support to help facilitate breathing and we can do that here at PMC.”

Dr. Hambleton warns that smoking by pregnant mothers is a major factor in low birth weight and prematurity. Kentucky and West Virginia lead the nation in adult smoking rates. For help quitting smoking, please call 606-218-4843 to learn more. For more information about the services provided by PMC’s NICU, visit the NICU page or call 606-218-3500.