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Leaders in Fetal Medicine Join UTHealth/Children's Memorial Hermann

| Source: Memorial Hermann

HOUSTON, Oct. 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, in collaboration with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, welcomes two internationally recognized leaders in maternal fetal medicine – Kenneth J. Moise, Jr., M.D., and Anthony Johnson, D.O. Karen Moise, R.N., also joins the team in the pivotal role of lead nurse coordinator.

The Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment, part of the UT Physicians medical practice, brings together specialists with expertise in high-risk pregnancies, focusing on the care and unique treatment for these mothers and their unborn children. "These renowned experts further strengthen the established Maternal Fetal Center led by KuoJen Tsao, M.D," said Susan Distefano, chief executive officer at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Moise and Johnson have performed more than 300 laser procedures in the treatment of severe twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.  In addition, they have experience in open fetal surgery, EXIT procedures and other fetoscopic-based fetal interventions. 

In February 2011, the landmark Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicating major benefits to children with spina bifida after in utero repair.  Since then, the Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment, in conjunction with colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, became the first in the Southwestern United States to perform an open fetal repair of myelomeningocele. Moise, who performed 10 open fetal cases for the in utero repair of spina bifida prior to the initiation of the MOMS trial, has established relationships with both Vanderbilt and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), positioning the Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment as the only fetal center in the nation working with all three participating centers of the MOMS trial. 

"With this new team in place, the Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment is distinctly positioned to offer exceptional care to a unique patient population," added Distefano.

Moise and Johnson joined UTHealth and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital this month. They will serve as professors in the UTHealth Medical School's departments of Pediatric Surgery and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

"We are very proud that Drs. Moise and Johnson are joining our program and will be bringing such unique expertise and skills. Our fetal center will thrive on our team approach, ability to collaborate and dedication to our patients. As a department, this move is consistent with our commitment to becoming a center of excellence in everything we do: patient care, medical education and research," said Sean C. Blackwell, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine.

As leaders in maternal and infant health, UTHealth is one of only six institutions home to both the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD and Neonatal Networks.

Kevin P. Lally, M.D., chairman of UTHealth's Department of Pediatric Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, said Moise and Johnson will significantly expand the existing spectrum of care at the Texas Center for Maternal and Fetal Treatment and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"This positions us as the premiere hospital and university in the region for maternal-fetal care," said Lally, the A.G. McNeese Chair in Pediatric Surgery and the Richard Andrassy, M.D., Endowed Distinguished Professor.

Prior to joining UTHealth and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, Moise and Johnson were with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. Moise was professor of obstetrics and gynecology, division of maternal-fetal medicine and interim director of the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.  He received his medical degree from the Louisiana State University Medical School and completed fellowships in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.        

Prior to Texas Children's Hospital, Johnson was director of the Fetal Intervention Program at N.C. Women's Hospital of UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill, N.C. He received his medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va., and completed fellowships in maternal-fetal medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and medical genetics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

About Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital:

With 11 hospitals located in the Texas Medical Center and throughout greater Houston, Memorial Hermann is a vital healthcare resource known for world-class clinical expertise, quality patient care, leading edge technology and innovation. Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital is a 308-bed hospital dedicated to pediatric and neonatal care with an additional 68 beds dedicated to women's services, and is home to the one of the largest and most comprehensive newborn intensive care units in the country.  The hospital's special compassion and healing expertise has distinguished it as one of the finest children's hospitals in the nation. In partnership with The University of Texas Medical School, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital specialists provide care for more than 120,000 patient visits annually, including the tiniest premature infants, children and adolescents. Memorial Hermann takes a holistic approach to healthcare, offering programs and services that address the physical, social, psychological and spiritual aspects of well-being.  The Memorial Hermann System delivers more than 25,000 babies each year.

The Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital logo is available at

About the UTHealth Medical School:

The University of Texas Medical School at Houston is one of six schools of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), which also is home to schools of nursing, public health, dentistry, biomedical informatics and graduate studies in biomedical science. Founded in 1972, UTHealth is the most comprehensive academic health system in The University of Texas System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region. Its primary teaching hospitals include Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. For more information, visit

About UT Physicians:

One of Houston's largest physician practices, UT Physicians provides comprehensive multi-specialty care for adults, adolescents and children—from routine wellness exams, to care for common illnesses, to highly-specialized treatments for complex medical conditions. As the medical group practice of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, UT Physicians offers high-quality, personalized care at its flagship in the Texas Medical Center and at a growing number of health centers in the Houston community. The team of internationally recognized medical experts includes more than 1,000 doctors certified in 80 medical specialties, with many listed among the "Best Doctors in America." For more information, visit or call 888-488-3627.

Alex Rodriguez
Director, Communications

Meredith Raine
Director, Media Relations