Expanding care for high-risk pregnancies

Expanding care for high-risk pregnancies

The Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) program at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children just marked an important milestone.

The recent arrival of board-certified OB-GYN Celso Hernandez, MD, means the program can now offer around-the-clock assistance with high-risk pregnancies. Dr. Hernandez and Margaret F. Carter, MD, are the area’s only full-time Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists.

“Our role really isn’t to deliver babies,” Dr. Hernandez explained. “It’s to assist OB-GYN physicians in the management of any type of complication with the mother or baby, or both. We’re there to help improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in the community.”

Dr. Hernandez recently completed a three-year MFM fellowship at the University of Arizona. He spent his entire career in Texas and Arizona before moving to Huntsville in early July. Dr. Hernandez said his wife and daughters — ages 16, 12 and 11 – are as excited as he is about the opportunities in North Alabama.

“The people at Huntsville Hospital and the overall feel of the community made a really positive impression on us,” he said.

A graduate of Texas A&M College of Medicine, Dr. Hernandez completed his residency in obstetrics-gynecology at Methodist Health System Dallas and had a solo OB-GYN practice in the Fort Worth area from 2005-11.

He then spent time as a faculty member at a family practice residency program in Conroe, Texas, teaching doctors who planned to work in rural areas how to deliver babies and perform C-sections. He moved to Tucson, Ariz., in 2013 for the MFM fellowship program and also has extensive experience as an OB-GYN hospitalist.

“I’ve delivered thousands of babies at this point in my career,” said Dr. Hernandez. “I’ve worked in multiple large metro hospitals treating patients with a high level of acuity and complexity. Having worked as an OB-GYN provides me with an additional understanding of the OB-GYN physicians as well as their patients’ needs and challenges.”

Huntsville Hospital Maternal Fetal Medicine offers highly specialized medical evaluation and treatment for women with high-risk conditions during their pregnancy. Reasons might include being pregnant with multiples, maternal age over 35, pre-term labor, abnormal placenta, chronic medical condition such as diabetes or hypertension, and previous pregnancy complications.

The program has received certification though the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Dr. Carter and Dr. Hernandez are supported by a highly-trained team of clinical specialists including a nurse practitioner, registered medical sonographers, a registered nurse and certified medical assistants. Dr. Carter is double-board certified in Maternal Fetal Medicine and OB-GYN.