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All Inova sites are open and serving patients. However, the global IT outage has affected some Inova technology systems. As patient safety is our top priority, we have taken measures to limit the impact to patient care while we work to fully restore standard operations.

Fetal Care Center

baby and mom in doctor's exam room

New Center Now Open

  • Located on the ground floor of the Women’s and Children’s Building at Inova Fairfax Hospital
  • Patient examination room equipped for fetal echocardiograms
  • Fetal specialist and subspecialist office spaces for patient consultations
  • Private, comfortable meeting room space for patient and family multidisciplinary meetings
  • Conference room with IT capability for telehealth visits as well as Genetic and Fetal Care Rounds presentations

Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital Fetal Care Center provides a supportive team approach to pregnant women who are at risk or suspected of carrying a baby with a fetal concern. The goal of the Fetal Care Center is to provide accurate diagnosis and a coordinated delivery plan to meet the individualized needs of each patient. In addition, families are referred to specific pediatric providers that will be involved in the care of the baby after birth. The center provides a full continuum of care by combining the expertise of Inova Women's Hospital with highly specialized neonatologists and pediatric subspecialists of Inova L.J. Murphy Children’s Hospital.

What sets this program apart from other area hospitals is the continuity of care the family receives, since Inova Women’s Hospital and Inova L.J. Murphy Children’s Hospital are in the same location. Therefore, after delivery mother and baby remain in the same facility, close together.

Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital is Northern Virginia's only full-service hospital devoted to the healthcare needs of infants, children and adolescents. It offers a full range of services with 226 beds and more than 35 pediatric specialties, including cardiology and cardiac surgery, gastroenterology, genetics, hematology/oncology, nephrology, general surgery and radiology.

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You may contact us via email at

All of us are at your service

Margot Ahronovich, MD, Medical DirectorMargot Ahronovich, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Ahronovich is Medical Director of the Inova Children’s Hospital Fetal Care Center. In addition to her leadership role at the Fetal Care Center, Dr. Ahronovich is a neonatologist in the Inova Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Ahronovich completed her residency and fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center.

Melissa Eatherly, RN, Patient Navigator Melissa Eatherly, FNP-BC, Nurse Practitioner
Melissa is a board certified Nurse Practitioner who leads the Fetal Care Center. She provides support, patient care coordination, and education for families. Prior to earning her Master's degree at George Washington University, Melissa worked for many years as a neonatal nurse and charge nurse at the Inova Children’s Hospital Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Contact her at 703-776-6371 or

Erin Caulfield, BSN, IBCLCErin Caulfield, BSN, IBCLC, Patient Navigator
Erin is a Registered Nurse who serves as a Patient Navigator at the Fetal Care Center. She provides patient care coordination, support, and education for families. Erin is a board certified Lactation Consultant with over 20 years of experience in the fields of Maternal and Neonatal Intensive Care nursing. She co-founded and developed the NICU Lactation Program at Inova Children’s Hospital. Please contact her at 703-776-6371 or

Cardiac Electrophysiology

Cardiac Surgery

Child Life

  • Ashley Richards, CCLS
  • Nicole Johnson, CCLS

Fetal Cardiology

Pediatric Surgery

Pediatric Neurosurgery

Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery



Palliative Care

Pediatric Nephrology

Pediatric Urology

Social Work

  • Christine Tran, MSW, LSW

Inova's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Inova L. J. Murphy Children’s Hospital is home to the region’s only Level IV, comprehensive sub-specialty NICU. For the sixth year in a row Inova L. J. Murphy Children’s Hospital NICU has been recognized for its quality care and outcomes. The 108-bed unit is staffed 24 hours a day by a multidisciplinary team of neonatal specialists, including round the clock in-house board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and specialized nurses. Our NICU cares for high-risk infants requiring specialized care and observation.

Congenital Heart Program

The Congenital Heart Program at Inova L. J. Murphy Children’s Hospital has been caring for the hearts of our region’s children for more than 25 years. Board-certified pediatric cardiologists, electrophysiologists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, and congenital cardiac surgeons have dedicated their practice to helping children overcome complex congenital anomalies. Fetal cardiologists partner with obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine and other pediatric specialists for multi-disciplinary care coordination and consultation. Each year, our pediatric cardiac surgeons perform approximately 300 surgeries with outcomes that outperform national benchmarks and standards.

Inova Children’s Neuroscience Program

Inova Children’s Neuroscience Program is uniquely qualified to evaluate and treat neurological conditions from birth and into adulthood.

Combining the expertise of Inova L. J. Murphy Children’s Hospital with the specialty knowledge of Inova Neuroscience Institute, the program features a full complement of board-certified specialists who cover all aspects of inpatient and outpatient care from diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation and long-term follow-up.

The pediatric neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, and other clinical team members are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of the most complex congenital brain and spinal cord anomalies. Capabilities include the surgical and non-surgical treatment of spina bifida, hydrocephalus, chiari malformation, tethered spinal cord, encephalocele and intracranial cysts.

Inova Children’s Craniofacial Program

Inova L. J. Murphy Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Program and its pediatric experts use a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate and treat children with craniofacial abnormalities. Pediatric plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, oral and maxilofacial surgeons, ENTs, dentists, audiologists, and speech and language pathologists see patients in a coordinated clinic model, led by a nurse navigator.

The Craniofacial Program is skilled in the treatment of cleft lip/palate, craniosynostosis, hemifacial microsomia, Pierre Robin sequence, and other craniofacial abnormalities.

Inova Children’s Hospital Genetics and Genetic Counseling

All levels of testing are available

First trimester ultrasounds, comprehensive Level II ultrasound scans along with 3D and 4D ultrasounds are available through the Obstetricians and Maternal Fetal Medicine community practitioners who partner with the Fetal Care Center. Invasive diagnostic testing includes chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis. Noninvasive screening includes First Trimester Screen (nuchal translucency), cell free DNA (NIPT), and Carrier Screening per ACOG recommendations.

Learn more about the Antenatal Testing Center here.

How to refer to the Fetal Care Center

Use any of these channels to refer a patient to Inova L. J. Murphy Children's Hospital Fetal Care Center:

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Heart Surgery Success

magazine cover - a toddler smilingEliza George was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot while still in utero. Inova's Dr. Lucas Collazo repaired Eliza's heart and she is now thriving.

Excellence in Surgical Care


Inova L.J. Murphy Children's Hospital is a Level 1 Verified Children's Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons Children's Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program (ACS CSV).

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