Meet our Specialists
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Meet our Specialists

Dr. Robert CastroRobert Castro MD, Neonatologist

Dr. Robert Castro obtained his medical degree from the University of California San Francisco. He completed both a Pediatric Residency and Neonatal Fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  After serving as the NICU Medical Director at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower, he joined the Faculty at the Univ of TX Health Science Center in San Antonio in 1991 where he was a Tenured Professor in the Pediatric Department and the Director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program. In 2009, he joined the Neonatal and Developmental Division as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine and serves as our Neonatologist and Medical Director in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. Dr Castro has been active on Medical School Admission Committees at UCSF and UTHSCSA and was on the Texas State mandated Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) Council, developed to increase the number of prospective qualified health-career applicants from socioeconomically disadvantage backgrounds. Dr. Castro has also worked with some of the pioneers of both surfactant and fetal/neonatal fluid physiology during his fellowship and continued investigation in both areas in San Antonio. His most current research with the neonatal fellows was characterizing the  anti-inflammatory properties of  commercial surfactant preparations and fluid regulation in cellular models. Dr. Castro has been the recipient of numerous teaching and clinical awards. Most notably Best Doctors in San Antonio and America recognition and The Presidential Teaching Excellence Award (2009).  He enjoys outdoor sports activities (golf, tennis, jogging, etc.) and spending time with his family.

Dr. Greg GlasscockDr. Greg Glasscock, PhD, MD, Neonatologist

Gregory Glasscock joined the staff of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 2003. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a PhD in physiology, he earned his MD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine in 1985. He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Oakland, a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco and a neonatology Fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center. His teaching career began in 1977 when he was appointed Teaching Associate at UC, Berkeley, and has been a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University since 2002. Dr. Glasscock is board certified in general pediatrics and perinatal-neonatology by the American Board of Pediatrics. He and his wife have three children ranging in age from 3 to 25. He is an avid runner and tennis player.

Dr. Carl YaegerCarl Yaeger, MD, Neonatologist

Carl Yaeger, MD, has been part of our NICU team since July 2007. He has more than thirty years of experience in neonatology, having served as associate director or director at Neonatal Intensive Care Units in several Western and Midwestern states. Dr. Yaeger earned his MD from the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville. He completed his internship in pediatrics at Stanford University Medical Center, a pediatric residency at Kaiser Foundation Hospital, San Francisco and a fellowship in neonatal/perinatal medicine at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Women's Hospital. He is board certified in general pediatrics and perinatal-neonatology by the American Board of Pediatrics. He and his wife have two grown sons. He enjoys sailing, skiing, scuba diving, traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.


SVMH NICU Multidisciplinary Team

Neonatal Nurse

Your baby’s nurse is a Neonatal Nurse. A Neonatal Nurse is a registered nurse who has received specialized training to provide highly specialized care for very sick newborns and premature infants requiring ventilator support, resuscitation, and advanced interventions. Your Neonatal Nurse undergoes annual skills tests and receives additional training to maintain an up to date practice.

Your Neonatal Nurse has also received specialized training in Developmental Care, helping you to understand your baby’s behaviors and how you can respond most easily. He/She will teach you how to understand your baby’s feeding readiness behaviors and how feeding is advanced based on these behaviors. He/She will assist you with breastfeeding skills. He/She will also be teaching you how to provide care for your baby such as positioning, holding and touching your baby as tolerated, bathing, feeding, changing diapers, and taking a temperature. As your baby prepares for discharge, the nurse will teach you about back to sleep positioning and tummy time, as well as, how to mix formulas (if formula fed) and give your baby his/her vitamins.

Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

A Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist is an advanced practice nurse with a Master’s Degree in nursing who provides educational programs and support to both nursing staff and ancillary staff so that they provide care that is up to date and based on the best available evidence. Your Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist may provide direct patient care at the bedside and she is available to support you with any questions you have regarding your baby’s care.

Occupational and Physical Therapists

Developmental Specialist are Occupational and Physical Therapists (OT/PT) who have completed advanced training and education in infant development, neonatal assessment, and infant-caregiver interaction. These therapists are an important part of the NICU team who will help you recognize and appropriately respond to the strengths and needs of your baby. They will assist building your confidence and ability to take care of your baby during daily care activities such as taking temperatures, changing diapers, positioning, and touching.

The OT/PT will instruct and guide you through your baby’s feeding progression, from skin to skin holding, to non-nutritive sucking at breast or with a pacifier, to bottle/breastfeeding. As your baby grows in the NICU environment, these therapists will guide you to respond to his or her changing behavior. Once your baby is ready for home, these specialists will teach you what to expect regarding your baby’s development.

Neonatal Respiratory Care Practitioners

Respiratory therapists (RT’s) treat and monitor newborns with breathing disorders. A neonatal respiratory care practitioner (RCP) monitors the breathing of premature babies, treats infants born with pulmonary diseases or disorders, and respond to the unique respiratory care needs of an infant in an emergency. Our NICU respiratory therapists are responsible for neonatal therapeutic equipment and processes including:

  • Invasive and non-invasive ventilatory support and management
  • Surfactant administrationIntubation
  • Blood gas acquisition and interpretation
  • Blood gas lab organization and maintenance
  • Attend high-risk and C-section deliveries

Registered Dietitian (RD)

Your baby will be evaluated by a Registered Dietitian (RD) who specializes in pediatric nutrition. She works with the neonatologists, nurses, and therapists to help make sure your baby is getting all the nutrients needed for growth and development. Your baby may receive nutrition through an IV (called TPN) or by mouth through a feeding tube, bottle, and/or at the breast. The dietitian develops “recipes” for feedings tailored to your baby’s unique needs so that nutrient needs are met. Recipes will be provided for you to take home as well when your baby is ready, as many children require supplements and extra calories and protein in order to grow. The RD will monitor your child’s growth on a growth chart to make sure that growth goals are being met. The dietitian is always available to discuss your child’s nutrition plan of care. The RD can be reached at (831) 757-4333 x 2050

Social Worker

Social Workers are available to the family to assist in coping with a NICU experience that may often be emotionally intense and overwhelming. We are seen as counselors, help identify resources and problem-solve family related issues. Along with providing emotional support, we also provide guidance, advocacy and address the individual needs of the family. One of the ways this is accomplished is a social worker may arrange a patient care conference with your family and your doctor. This will enable you to get the most up-to-date information about your baby and be able to work together with your medical team in developing a treatment plan.

Case Management

Case Managers are nurses that assist the families with discharge plans and assist with coordinating needed services upon release from the hospital. These services can include arranging for in home nursing support, equipment and ongoing appointments with medical specialty departments.


Cuddlers are volunteers who have received specialized training to “cuddle” or hold NICU babies. They may be asked to “cuddle” a baby if the baby’s parents are not available and the babies would benefit from being held. Some situations where this may occur are infrequent parent visits or the infant is inconsolable. Cuddlers are not able to provide any medical care, they are only able to hold the babies while in the NICU. If you do not wish for a cuddler to hold your baby in your absence, please notify the bedside nurse.

Parent Mentor

Parent Mentors are volunteers who have also received specialized training to mentor parents who have children on the NICU. Each of our parent mentors has been through the NICU with their own children and is here to help our parents with the NICU experience. These volunteers also participate on our NICU advisory council, which is open to the public and provides insight into program development on the NICU. Please contact the social worker or NICU parent coordinator Bree Nakashima, (831) 757-4333 x 2028 for a peer mentor.