From left: Northwell CEO Michael Dowling, State Sen. Anna Kaplan, Dr. Burton Rochelson,...

From left: Northwell CEO Michael Dowling, State Sen. Anna Kaplan, Dr. Burton Rochelson, Dr. Natalie Meirowitz, Dr. Nidhi Vohra, and Dr. Michael Nimaroff attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for Northwell's high-risk pregnancy and fetal risk center in New Hyde Park. Credit: Northwell Health/Lee S. Weissman

Northwell Health cut the ribbon this week on a 12,400-square-foot facility dedicated to providing prenatal care for women with risky or complicated pregnancies. 

The Center for High Risk Pregnancy and Fetal Health, located at 1111 Marcus Ave. in New Hyde Park, assists with pregnancies that are complicated because of issues with women or fetuses, the health care provider said.

Dr. Burton Rochelson, chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Northwell, leads the center and its 130 employees. Clinicians who specialize in genetics, hematology, infectious disease and caring for those with heart, lung or kidney problems, staff the $7 million, 14-exam room facility.

"It took us several years to get here, but this center teaches us to dream what is possible and to think ahead," Northwell President and CEO Michael Dowling said in a statement.

Clinicians may deem a pregnancy high-risk if women have had problems with previous pregnancies or have diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus or heart disease, according to Northwell. Issues discovered in fetuses may also make the pregnancy high-risk.

The center will have programs for pregnant women with diabetes, cancer and heart conditions.

 Care may continue after pregnancy, which can have long-term effects on patients' cardiovascular health, according to Dr. Michael Nimaroff, senior vice president and executive director of obstetrics/gynecology at Northwell. 

“This unique center devoted to caring for pregnant moms and their unborn children from throughout the community is focused on collaboration and providing our patients with access to an outstanding team of maternal medicine specialists, adult medical specialists, geneticists and pediatric subspecialists all within one beautiful facility,” Nimaroff said in a statement.

Staff will be able to test the amniotic fluid surrounding fetuses, placental tissue that shares the genetic makeup of fetuses and fetal blood from umbilical cords, Northwell noted. Various ultrasounds, screening for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic counseling will also be available. 

The center's space was previously unused, according to Nimaroff. He said Northwell is still setting up programs in about a quarter of the property — some of which it leases, and some of which it purchased in 2014. 

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