Saint Barnabas Medical Center Bids Farewell to Shyan Sun, MD, DCH, FAAP

On December 17, 2018, NICU staff and graduate families gathered to say thank you and good-bye to Shyan Sun, MD, DCH, FAAP, Director of Neonatology, Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) and Clinical Professor Pediatrics, Rutgers-NJ Medical School (pictured), on his retirement. He had been in this role here for the last 25 years and was a true innovator in his field. He was credited with many firsts in the field in the state of NJ and led the unit to provide the best medical care possible for some of the hospitals tiniest and sickest patients.

Dr. Sun was one of the first neonatologists to establish a NICU in New Jersey. In the 1970’s, he introduced modern newborn intensive care to NJ and designed the first mobile ICU for newborns in the state. He also organized the state’s first helicopter neonatal air transport team.

Over the years Dr. Sun trained almost 50 neonatologists and hundreds of devoted NICU nurses. Among the neonatologists he trained is

Dr. Kamtorn who has been his Clinical Director at SBMC for as long as he was here. With his departure, she will be stepping into the role of Director. She has also been recruiting new neonatologists since Drs. Santo Domingo, Tien and Ko also retired at the end of 2018. They too had long careers at SBMC and have been neonatologists here for 40+ years, 20+ years, and 20+ years respectively. We wish them all well in the next chapters of their lives.

The model of physician care in the NICU and focus on implementation of evidence-based practices, that helped Dr. Sun and the NICU team achieve survival rates that exceed the national averages, will continue long after he has left SBMC. His model of physician care required that at least 2 neonatologists be in the hospital to help care for the NICU babies at all times and in most cases each baby is assigned one neonatologist to care for them for all (or most) of their NICU stay. This assures that any specialized NICU care or emergencies that come up can be attended to by a specially trained physician at any hour of the day, any day of the year.

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