Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin are bringing birth defects expert Dr. Kenneth Moise Jr. to Austin to lead the new Fetal Care Center at the children’s hospital.


Moise is the former co-director of the Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and serves as a professor in maternal-fetal medicine at the McGovern Medical School at University of Texas Health in Houston.


The Fetal Care Center will allow mothers who are healthy but know they are carrying a baby with a serious medical condition to deliver at Dell Children’s. Their babies can be cared for by specialists right away rather than being transported to Dell Children’s after birth.


"Being told that your unborn child has a problem can be one of the most stressful events for a new mother and father,” Moise said in a press release. “Our goal at the Fetal Care Center will be to provide a coordinated experience for the pregnant patient in conjunction with the excellent pediatric specialists at Dell Children’s. Parents will know the plan of care before their child comes into this world.”


The center, which will be at the new 161,000-square-foot Specialty Pavilion next to Dell Children’s, is expected to open next April. The 11 delivery rooms inside the hospital are expected to open in July 2021.


“The Fetal Care Center is transformative for the tiniest, most vulnerable infants in Central Texas,” said Christopher M. Born, president of Dell Children’s Medical Center in a press release.


It’s also part of Dell Children’s initiative to give Austin children more access to specialized care close to home rather than having to go elsewhere in the state or country.


“Today in Austin, when a baby in utero is diagnosed with a serious congenital malformation, that mom and family often will seek care elsewhere,” said Dr. George Macones, chair of the Department of Women’s Health at Dell Med and service line chief of women's health at Ascension Seton, in a press release. “Dr. Moise will add his substantial experience and expertise to the world-class care Dell Children’s delivers for moms and their babies for birth defects before, during and after birth, all while still staying close to home.”


In addition to his role at the Fetal Care Center, Moise also will be a professor in the department of women’s health at Dell Medical School and will practice at UT Health Austin.