Meet Our Team

The NICU at Brenner Children's is a team of leading experts specially trained in the care of critically ill newborns. Our exceptional and renowned team of neonatologists, nurses, fellows, residents, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, pediatric radiologists and other health care professionals all work together to ensure your child receives the best possible care and treatment. 

Your Child’s NICU Care Team  

  • Attending physicians – certified neonatologists specially trained to care for critically ill newborns. 
  • Fellows – pediatric doctors who have completed their residency and are engaged in specialized training in the care of critically ill newborns. 
  • Residents – doctors completing their final training in pediatrics, who are supervised by attending physicians. 
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNPs) – Neonatal Nurse Practitioners are specially trained nurses who assess, supervise and manage NICU patients in consultation and collaboration with the neonatologists. 
  • Nurses – neonatal nurses who have been specially trained in the care of critically ill newborns. 
  • Respiratory therapists – clinical professionals specially trained to help newborns and babies breathe more effectively through the use of ventilators, oxygen and other breathing treatments. 

Cherrie Dawn Welch, M.D.The Brenner NICU is led by Cherrie D. Welch, MD, MPH, who is the medical director for both the NICU and Brenner’s intermediate nursery.  

Dr. Welch, the 12 other specially trained neonatology clinicians and the many nurses and support staff at the NICU are established experts in ensuring that your child receives the best possible care. 


Modupeola O. Akinola, MD

Christine E. Bishop, MD

Jennifer F. Check, MD

Laura C. Downey, MD

Jennifer B. Helderman, MD, MS

Peter J. Porcelli, Jr, MD

Lisa K. Washburn, MD

Cherrie D. Welch, MD, MPH

Advanced Care Nurses Providing 24/7 Care for Our Infant Patients 

With more than 25 years of experience working with the families of critically ill infants and newborn babies, Ellen Wyrick, BSN, is the nurse manager for the NICU and the intermediate nursery. Ms. Wyrick directs a team of nurses and other health care professionals that assist in the treatment of your child. Many of the NICU’s nurses are certified in neonatal intensive care and have earned advanced degrees in nursing. Our nurses are actively involved in all aspects of your child’s care. 

The family-centered care program also arranges for tours of the hospital and the NICU, as well as providing guidance on lodging and support groups. Our family-centered care program is dedicated to helping your family before, during and after your child’s stay at the NICU. We are available to answer all of your questions about food, housing and other topics and help you with any other concerns you might have. 

Other Health Care Professionals

Lactation consultants at the NICU work with new mothers every day to answer questions, provide guidance and support and answer questions about breastfeeding strategies, breast pumps and storing breast milk for babies. 

The NICU team also consists of a multidisciplinary team of respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists specially trained in neonatal medicine, nutritionists and pediatric radiologists, all of whom work together to ensure your child receives optimal care and treatment. 


  • Neonatology (NICU)
  • 336-713-6428

  • Hours

    24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week