The Florida Neonatal Neurologic Network


The Florida Neonatal Neurologic Network (FN3) is a collaborative network of 14 NICU units in the state of Florida. Founded by Dr. Michael Weiss and some of his colleagues from University of Florida in 2011, the network’s mission is to provide state of the art care for newborn babies with brain injuries and to conduct research and develop future therapies to improve long-term outcomes. The sites that are part of the network operate using the same entry criteria and systemic care guidelines for infants with HIE who undergo therapeutic hypothermia. They also have a common biorepository of samples and data repository that is being maintained at University of Florida. As part of the network’s continuous goal to fulfill its mission, neonatologists and other healthcare providers who care for infants with HIE from the participating sites meet yearly to discuss protocols, achievements, and goals moving forward. 




This year, the FN3 held its annual meeting on July 13th, 2019 at the Nemours Children’s Hospital. We continued our tradition of meeting with neonatologists, nurses, and other healthcare providers caring for babies with HIE around the state of Florida and discussed our guidelines and research, but we also added some new elements this year. For the first time, we had a pre-meeting dinner that was sponsored by Aspect Imaging, with a presentation on neonatal MRI by Dr. Terrie Inder, a world renowned expert in neonatal brain imaging. The networking event brought together about 40 participants who engaged in discussions past the allotted time. 




The day of the meeting at the Nemours Children’s hospital, Dr. Inder gave a presentation on the rationale and potential benefits of cooling neonates with mild HIE infants. Everyone thought the presentation very interesting, as we are still at times confronted by limited research on whether our mild HIE cases will benefit from therapeutic hypothermia.

After Dr. Inder’s presentation, the group divided into two sessions. One session was moderated by Dr. Weiss and it consisted of proposed guideline changes, debates on practice parameters, and two presentations by UF fellows Dr. Prelipcean and Dr. Nataraj, who presented their research on HIE biomarkers and comparison of head US and MRI on IVH detection in preterm infants. In the concurrent session, the nurses/other healthcare providers section learned about the Neuro NICU with Kathi Randall and about managing vasopressors and sedation medications during therapeutic hypothermia with pharmacist Dr. Keliana O’Mara. 






The afternoon session was opened by Dr. Sara Bates from Massachusetts Children’s Hospital. The founding director of the Infant Brain Center at MGH, Dr. Bates presented a lecture on the role of brain imaging in the neonatal intensive care unit- lessons learned and future directions in MRI analysis. 

After the discussion with Dr. Bates, the afternoon continued with a presentation given by Dr. Yasova-Barbeau, a neonatologist at Joe DiMaggio Hospital. Dr. Yasova-Barbeau presented on clinical changes over time in neonates with HIE, and she used data from the network’s data repository for this project. 

Dr. Yang presented some promising data on using blood based biomarkers as diagnostic tools for clinicians at the bedside, and the meeting was adjourned by Dr. Weiss after he presented a year in review and goals for the future. 

For anyone interested, you can find all the presentations archived on our website: http://hopefn3.org/members/archived-presentations/ 


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