Perinatal Assessment Center

Young mother holding newborn Our History and Reputation

Columbia St. Mary’s Women's Hospital has long maintained exceptional women’s health services. For more than a decade, we have cared for the most difficult pregnancies through our Perinatal Assessment Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) services.

Our knowledge in evaluating, treating and supporting women and their babies has grown to medically manage even the most complicated high-risk pregnancies.

Through the expertise of our dedicated specialists, combined with technological advancements, more healthy moms and babies return home to their families.

Defining Perinatal and High-Risk

During your pregnancy, your body is quickly changing and growing to accommodate the birth of your baby. Perinatal is the time before, during and immediately after birth. A pregnancy can be categorized as high-risk for many reasons relating to the mother, baby, or both. A woman may be considered at high-risk due to the following factors:

  • An existing diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension
  • The use of specific medications
  • Being over age 35
  • Previous pregnancy complications
  • Family history of genetic disorders

A baby might be considered at risk when an early ultrasound indicates a possible birth defect or chromosome disorder.

When a health complication is detected, services offered in our Center are necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your baby.

Our Services, Staff and Specialists

Expectant moms are referred to our Center by their physicians. The evaluation helps patients know in advance what specialized treatments may be required if complications occur during or after pregnancy, regardless of whether the medical condition is pre-existing or newly diagnosed during the evaluation.

Nurses in our Center are trained and dedicated solely to perinatal issues. They work with mothers every day to assess, monitor and treat a variety of pregnancy complications.

In addition to offering perinatal consultations, our Center brings together a caring group of specialists to accurately evaluate and treat all conditions that may pose a problem during pregnancy. The multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Perinatologists (maternal-fetal health specialists)
  • Cardiologists
  • Endocrinologists
  • Neurologists
  • Pediatric Cardiologists, Neurologists, Urologists, and Surgical Specialists

Technology and Testing

Along with our team expertise, the Center offers a full spectrum of diagnostic services to assess and treat high-risk moms and babies. State of the art 3D and 4D images allow families to view images of their baby.

Testing to monitor the health of you and your baby includes:

  • Fetal echocardiograms
  • High resolution ultrasounds (2D, 3D & 4D)
    *We can record ultrasound images for you. If you would like to take a copy of your ultrasound images home with you, please bring a blank DVD that is marked DVD+RW.
  • Doppler studies
  • Amniocentesis
  • Non-stress tests
  • Contraction stress tests
  • Oxytocin challenge tests
  • Biophysical profiles
  • Genetic counseling


If complications occur once a baby is born, moms can be reassured by the expert services of our dedicated neonatologists who specialize in high-risk newborn births. Our Level III NICU is located close to the delivery area at Columbia St. Mary’s Women's Hospital.

A Level III NICU treats not only basic newborn infections and typical complications associated with premature birth (such as respiratory and feeding issues, or multiple births) and if necessary, we also provide:

  • Newborn surgery
  • Ventilator baby care
  • Medical management for babies born as early as 23 weeks

Follow-up Clinic

Our Columbia St. Mary’s Women's Hospital Infant Follow-Up Clinic was designed as an early screening tool to evaluate the development of at-risk infants and toddlers. The clinic staff will test for specific conditions of medical or developmental concern, including sensory-motor experience. This allows for the at-risk infant or toddler to be diagnosed early, and receive appropriate treatment to help reach their full potential. Case managers will guide you in selecting the right specialist directly accessible through our Center.


Our philosophy for both the Perinatal Assessment Center and NICU is to involve the family as much as possible in the care of their baby. Studies demonstrate that our family centered care approach can make a baby stronger and shorten his or her hospital stay.

We encourage all parents to partner with the doctors and staff during each and every important decision in the medical care of their baby.

Your childbirth experience will be filled with many memories. Trust our experienced staff to make yours as memorable and as healthy as possible.

Dr. Richard Pircon's Image
Richard Pircon, MD
Medical Director
Perinatal Assessment Center and Labor & Delivery

For nearly over 20 years, Dr. Pircon has been caring for expectant moms. His dedicated expertise has been vital in creating our highly reputable family-centered approach to maternal-fetal medicine at Columbia St. Mary’s.

Dr. Pircon earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Rush Medical College in 1983. He completed his residency at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, IL in 1987. His fellowship was in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of California Irvine in Irvine, CA from 1987-1989. Dr. Pircon is board certified in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He has authored 47 publications.

Tan swirly circle graphic design

Services offered at our Center are available for all women in Milwaukee and surrounding communities. Appointments are by physician referral. For more information, please call the Perinatal Assessment Center at 414-585-1714.

Columbia St. Mary's
Women's Hospital
Perinatal Assessment Center
2323 N. Lake Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53211


Columbia St. Mary's

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