Neonatology

The WVU Section of Neonatology is dedicated to providing excellent care of sick newborns and their families, teaching the next generation of medical providers, and furthering clinical research in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Clinical Care
The WVU NICU is a 42-bed, level IV unit located within WVU Medicine Children’s in Morgantown, WV. An expansion to 50-beds, with the addition of private bed spaces, is planned for 2018. Our physician team is made up of six neonatologists and three Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellows. We partner closely with a large group of neonatal advanced practice providers. Specialized NICU nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, therapists, and child life specialists complete our care team. Together, we care for over 600 critically ill newborns per year with problems ranging from extreme prematurity to congenital heart disease to serious neonatal infections. Two-thirds of our patients are born at WVU Medicine, in the adjoining Obstetrics suite. The Neonatology section collaborates with local Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists in attending high-risk deliveries. For those patients born in the surrounding area (West Virginia, western Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio), our pediatric transport team can provide a prompt, safe transfer to the NICU setting. We offer focused care teams for extremely preterm infants and infants with established chronic lung disease of prematurity (also called bronchopulmonary dysplasia or BPD). NICU graduates are followed through our clinic for developmental, growth, or breathing concerns in the first years of life.

Education
The WVU Section of Neonatology strongly supports the education of fellows, residents, and medical students. We offer an ACGME-accredited 3-year fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine , and we train 1 fellow per year. We also teach the fundamentals of newborn care and recognition of illness to WVU Pediatrics and combined Internal Medicine & Pediatrics residents . Medical students with a special interest in NICU can chose to rotate with our team as a senior student . We also offer outreach education for referring hospital teams regarding newborn resuscitation and stabilization.

Research
Our partnership with the Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) allows the section to conduct high quality clinical research through two national research collaboratives, the Pediatric Trial Network  and the IDeA State Pediatric Clinical Trial Network , which focuses on bringing NIH-sponsored clinical studies to rural populations. We also engage in industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated projects.

Section Members

A photo of Autumn Kiefer.

Autumn S. Kiefer, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Mark Smith.

Mark Cody Smith, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
A photo of Panitan Yossuck.

Panitan Pete Yossuck, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Stephen Akers.

Stephen Matt Akers, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1200
A photo of Alfred Gest.

Alfred Gest, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatologist, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Rikizam Joya.

Rikizam Joya, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Fellow, Neonatology, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1224
A photo of Alicia Moise.

Alicia Moise, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Mark Polak.

Mark J. Polak, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Professor, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202

 Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Team

A photo of Cathy Andria.

Cathy Andria, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Tiffany Blosser.

Tiffany Blosser, NNP, APRN-BC, RN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-598-4140
A photo of Misty Carunchia.

Misty Carunchia, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Mary Chafin.

Mary Chafin, NNP, APRN-BC, IBCLC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Melinda Connolly.

Melinda S Connolly, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-598-4140
A photo of Brenda Daugherty.

Brenda P Daugherty, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Sharon Griffith.

Sharon Griffith, NNP, APRN-BC, RN

West Virginia University
Position
Clinical Instructor, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1201
A photo of Kathleen Kinney.

Kathleen Kinney, NNP, APRN-BC, RN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Cierra Kochy.

Cierra Kochy, NNP, APRN-BC, RN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Debra Lauffer.

Debra Lauffer, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Barbara Nightengale.

Barbara J Nightengale, APRN-BC, CNNP, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Nicole Puccio.

Nicole Puccio, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Kelli Queen.

Kelli Burke Queen, NNP, APRN-BC, RN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Nicki Ringler-Goodwin.

Nicki L Ringler-Goodwin, NNP, APRN-BC, MSN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202
A photo of Arianna Williams.

Arianna K Williams, NNP, APRN-BC, RN

West Virginia University
Position
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics, Staff, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1202

Neonatal Fellows

A photo of Stephen Akers.

Stephen Matt Akers, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1200
A photo of Rikizam Joya.

Rikizam Joya, MD

West Virginia University
Position
Fellow, Neonatology, Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1224
A photo of Valerie Sedney, C-TAGME.

Valerie A Sedney, C-TAGME

West Virginia University
Positions
Medicine/Pediatrics Program Administrator, Office of Graduate Medical Education
Residency Manager, Medical Education
Pediatrics
Phone
304-293-1224