PREMIEre Program

a healthcare professional asseses a little girl looking at pictures in a bookThe mission of the PREMIEre Program is to ensure infants with complex medical conditions and developmental challenges due to prematurity, catastrophic illness at birth, or environmental factors are evaluated for growth, neurological, and developmental abnormalities in an intense care-coordinated program with developmental testing, appropriate interventions, and family education.

Program Highlights

  • Open for referral by the primary care physicians of NICU survivor infants at risk for developmental challenges throughout San Antonio and South Texas.
  • Parent education begins before the infant is discharged home from the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
  • Developmental age-appropriate testing and enhance development in the areas of growth and nutrition, and mental, motor, speech and behavior development up to five years of age.
  • Research and educational programs that will further the knowledge of NICU survivors in their development, of how families access healthcare for their children, and of health disparities in those areas.
  • The clinic is staffed by an educational psychologist, a full-time coordinator, nurse case managers, Pediatric nurse practitioner, and a medical director specialized in Neonatology.

Goals:

  • To have a specialized program for all South Texas babies born prematurely and weighing less than 3.5 lbs at birth available through referral by the primary care physicians.
  • To have a parent education program that begins before the infant is discharged home from the nursery. To enable the family to become knowledgeable about their baby’s developmental needs, help the infant to achieve maximum potential and to empower families with information to access healthcare.
  • To provide developmental age-appropriate testing and enhance development.
  • To conduct research and educational programs that will further the knowledge of premature infant development, how families access healthcare for their children, and health disparities in those areas.

a little boy in a orange shirt plays with blocks during a developmental skills assessmentThe program offers extensive developmental assessments in the areas of growth and nutrition, mental and motor development and speech and behavior up to three years of age. The clinic is staffed by a developmental psychologist, a full-time nurse coordinator, a nurse case manager and a medical director specialized in neonatology. Early intervention is planned as needed and the family is connected with appropriate services taking into account transportation and insurance. The assessments also serve as framework for teaching parents about infant development and their role in guiding the growth of their own baby. The program is open for referral of premature infants (birth weight < 3.5 pounds) throughout San Antonio and South Texas. It began in 1979 and serves about 800 patient visits a year with 70-80 new patients added every year.

A PREMIEre Reunion is organized every year in October for graduates of the program. Contact: 210-567-5235.