Richard Bell, MD
"In medical school, my goal was to become a family practice physician, but I was greatly influenced by one of my professors who introduced me to the concept of sub-specialties. I was fascinated by caring for patients with complicated and challenging problems, and when my rotation brought me to pediatrics, I decided to do my residency in neonatology. I never thought that I would spend my career caring for sick babies at 2 a.m., but I love what I do and have never looked back.
"Statistically, anywhere from 9 to 12 percent of all babies born in the United States will spend some time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The majority of Solano County babies born prematurely, or with a critical illness, will be brought to NorthBay's NICU because we have the highest level of neonatal care available in Solano County.
"Providing good care for these babies is all about planning, preparation, training and having the right education. We have a cadre of nurses and respiratory therapists who are trained in how to stabilize these babies. And, although our NICU staff is primarily focused on caring for our tiny babies, we also know it's important to care for the entire family. Parents are under a lot of stress at this time, so we work to develop a trusting relationship with our families. And as much as we may become attached to our babies and our families, we are working hard to get them home from the first day they arrive.
"When I am not caring for babies at NorthBay's NICU, I volunteer to go overseas once or twice a year to teach neonatal resuscitation to healthcare providers -midwives, doctors, health officials -- in such places as Laos, India, Cambodia, Ghana and Mongolia. Every year, thousands of infants die in the first moments of life, because their birth attendants did not know this technique that is low-tech and simple, and yet takes less than a minute to save a life."
Dr. Bell has been director of newborn services for NorthBay since 1988, after serving in the same role for David Grant Medical Center.
Doctorate of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
Internship and residency in Pediatrics at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
Fellowship in neonatology, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
National Board of Medical Examiners
Board Certified in Pediatrics
Board Certified in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Fellow
- California Association of Neonatologists
- Partnership Healthplan of California, chairman of Physicians
- Member, Vermont-Oxford Neonatal Network
- Member, California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, Perinatal Quality Improvement Panel