Neonatology continues to advance at a rapid rate. With more than 10,000 new articles published every year, it’s increasingly difficult for clinicians and hospital leaders to keep up with the latest care pathways and emerging technologies. At Envision, three trailblazing clinicians are working to bridge those gaps by establishing a community of thought leadership and education that connects our partner hospitals and reaches the medical community on a national scale.

Rune Toms, MD, Envision’s National Quality Director for Safety, is focused on education and innovation, both at Envision and across the globe.

Dr. Toms fosters growth in our partner NICUs by encouraging innovative approaches to care and ensuring that the latest protocols become the standard across our organization. “Parents expect similar standards of care across the country,” Dr. Toms said, “and we should give it to them. We’re working on that through standardization across all of our units.”

In that spirit, Dr. Toms is developing, a place where clinicians can access standard treatment protocols on a broad basis. Dr. Toms considers the overarching goal of to reduce variation of care and to place the highest quality protocols at the fingertips of clinicians the world over.

Because no clinician can be an expert in all manners of neonatal care, Envision considers the entire team when recruiting clinicians to practice in our partner NICUs. “Envision recruits teammates that fit like puzzle pieces,” said Dr. Toms. “Not only do we recruit the best and brightest clinicians, but those with differing expertise and specific passions. We think holistically about teams, not about bodies in a shift.”

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By developing well-rounded units, parents and newborns gain access to the high-quality care they need, and sometimes, these custom-built teams become neonatal thought leaders in their region. That’s exactly the case for Envision neonatologist Daphna Yasova Barbeau, MD.

Dr. Barbeau has developed the NICU at her Envision partner site into a beacon of expertise and passion for family-centered patient care, as it now serves several roles in and beyond the immediate community. Dr. Barbeau likens her home NICU to an academic center where neonatologists, pediatricians and other clinicians across specialties serve as regional experts in neonatal care, neurodevelopment, chronic lung disease, cardiology and more.

To share best practices and leading-edge processes in palliative care, Dr. Barbeau and her OB/GYN colleagues are developing prenatal counseling protocols, meeting with patients ahead of anticipated admissions to the NICU and working to establish counseling services for families of prenates with terminal conditions.

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Beyond the NICU, Dr. Barbeau and fellow neonatologist Ben Courchia, MD, are tapping into their creativity, expertise and intellectual curiosity to develop new platforms to engage with colleagues and advance neonatology as a specialty.

Drs. Barbeau and Courchia pursued these platforms because they saw vital discoveries and new processes being developed across their specialty and recognized that they could help that information spread throughout the medical community. “Modern medicine is pretty isolating,” Dr. Barbeau said, “and neonatology in particular is pretty insular, so we felt it was possible for us to better connect with one another.” Ultimately, the doctors wanted to help unify their professional community and advance the delivery of quality, family-centered neonatal care.

That’s when the idea for their now flagship podcast, The Incubator, was born.

Director of Neonatal Innovation
Envision Physician Services

We quickly realized, early in our careers, that clinicians were too often experiencing feelings of burnout and moral injury. It was clear to us that this stemmed from the incredible demands placed on physicians today, the difficulties of keeping up with rapidly evolving new evidence and a limited ability to engage with peers beyond the clinical space. From its inception, The Incubator Podcast aimed to address these specific issues.

Reaching distribution in May of 2021, The Incubator is a podcast dedicated to the latest advances in neonatal care and the fascinating individuals behind them.

A truly grassroots production, the podcast has established a consistent global listenership, enabling Dr. Barbeau and Dr. Courchia to showcase knowledgeable and diverse voices for a larger audience than they ever imagined. “Our listeners are feeling more connected to others, to new ideas and opportunities and ways to reinvent their own careers,” Dr. Barbeau said. The podcast also connects neonatologists to share the knowledge and protocols central to family-centered patient care.

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  • 30,000 monthly listeners
    • Across 8,000+ cities in 170+ countries
  • Available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Farsi
  • Top 50 medical podcast in the U.S.
  • 60+ interviews with providers, parents and patients
  • 250+ research articles reviewed

With more than 180 episodes under its belt, the podcast has also begun to spawn and help fund new endeavors, including a separate podcast dedicated entirely to preparing physicians for the neonatology board exam, a conference bringing together innovators from across the specialty and without, and even a social media platform where physicians can discuss anything from care protocols to personal and professional wellness.

Because of The Incubator, clinicians around the world can access several new platforms to build connections, highlight their work, share clinical best practices and gather knowledge that will help them advance neonatology as a specialty. “We have managed to rekindle the sense of community in neonatology,” Dr. Courchia said, “bringing together a global community of listeners who care about the quality of the care they deliver at the bedside each day.”

Want to learn more about these and other projects from Drs. Barbeau, Courchia and Toms?

To see what’s new with The Incubator or to listen to its latest episodes, check out