Kim Burton, MSN, MBA, RNC, has been passionate about working with newborns for a long time. More than 30 years, in fact. She now brings that extensive background to her new role as clinical director with the Cincinnati Fetal Care Center. Prior to joining the Fetal Care Center in July 2016, Burton worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cincinnati Children’s. She also served as manager for the medical center’s ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) program, a responsibility she’ll continue in her new position.

Burton’s intimate knowledge of the NICU gives her unique experience in her work with the Fetal Care Center. Many families who come through the Fetal Care Center have a baby who must be transferred to the NICU after birth. Burton is specially equipped to help those families since she understands what they will face and how the NICU operates.

New responsibilities
While Burton is now the clinical director of the Fetal Care Center, she has been involved with it for about 10 years as a liaison between the NICU and Fetal Care Center, helping to coordinate the deliveries done at Cincinnati Children’s. In her new role, she regularly rounds on the Fetal Care Center families to make sure their needs are being met.

Her role as ECMO clinical director is similar—rounding on families to ensure they understand what is going on from an ECMO standpoint and to answer any questions they may have.

“One of the reasons I came to Cincinnati Children’s was because of my interest in ECMO,” says Burton, who joined the NICU in 1990. ECMO is a modified form of heart-lung bypass for infants and children with cardiorespiratory failure, and is sometimes a treatment used for babies born in the Fetal Care Center. Burton began working with the ECMO program in 1991 and has been a part of it ever since.

Inspired by the possibilities
Five months into her new position, Burton is motivated by the many options available for expectant mothers and their babies today. “Babies have a better chance for survival now than ever before,” Burton says. “It amazes me what the Cincinnati Fetal Care Center is able to do for these babies and their moms. It’s very exciting to be a part of changing the outcome for them.”

Looking to the future, Burton is enthusiastic about working with the Fetal Care Center team as its program expands. She’ll be an integral part of process improvements within the center, both looking at patient flow as well as helping the team to be more efficient.

An effective arrangement
With the Fetal Care Center led by physicians from Cincinnati Children’s, Good Samaritan Hospital and University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Burton finds the structure of the center valuable. “There’s significant benefit to seeing the different perspectives from the adult facilities and how that impacts the treatments we’re able to offer our families,” she says.

Burton is enjoying her new job, which combines her passion for caring for newborns with her interest in providing care for their mothers. “There is amazing work done here,” she says. “I’m in awe of what this team is able to do for these families, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”