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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

Amit Chandel, MD

Jennifer F. Check, MD

Laura C. Downey, MD

Semsa Gogcu, MD

Jennifer B. Helderman, MD, MS

Jennifer Holman, MD

Mary Lovegreen, MD

Peter J. Porcelli, Jr, MD

Mary Pylipow, MD

Jeffrey Shenberger, 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. 

Stephanie Nooe in hospital
“The whole reason I became a nurse and wanted to work at Brenner was because they were the people who made a difference in my life,” says Stephanie Nooe, who now works as a NICU nurse at Brenner Children’s. Stephanie first came to Brenner as a 13-year-old to receive difficult infusion treatments for an autoimmune disease. “I’ve put myself in a position now where I can work with the children who are going through treatment like what I went through."
Read Stephanie's full story

As a newborn, Brittany Frock endured life-saving heart surgeries at Brenner Children’s. As a nurse practitioner, she now works with families and babies right where she was treated. “It’s very fulfilling to come back full circle and be able to pay back to a hospital that has given me so much.”
Read Brittany's Full Story

As a kindergartener, Kayla Vaughn wrote that she wanted to work at Brenner Children’s Hospital where she had been treated as a baby. The x-ray technician now fulfills that wish every day. “It’s crazy to me how it all unfolded and to be working here now.”
Read Kayla's Full Story


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