Health Care Leadership Awards 2011

HCLA 2011 – Neonatal Care Award

Cristina Carballo, M.D., Medical Director of Neuro/NICU, Phoenix Children's HospitalCristina Carballo, M.D., Medical Director of Neuro/NICU, Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Dr. Cristina Carballo’s passion has always been neonatology. Her love for its patients and the subject drove her to develop the second Neuro/NICU program in the country at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Her dedication to develop an entire program that diagnoses and treats all neurologically affected neonates has saved many lives and given many babies a better chance at a quality life.

Carballo, who has been with the hospital since 1988, brought an innovative, cutting-edge treatment therapy to the Valley and implemented it at Phoenix Children’s — the first in the state and only the second in the country. With the treatment, Carballo is trying to prevent hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. It occurs when a baby suffers from lack of oxygen before or during birth. The lack of oxygen can cause disabilities such as dyslexia or cerebral palsy, or even death. Using hypothermia therapies, affected babies are cooled down, allowing physicians to conduct brain studies so they can direct the appropriate treatment. The therapy also decreases an infant’s risk of developing a disability.