When a baby is born prematurely or full-term with special medical needs, he or she requires an extra level of medical attention. That’s where the expertise and caring hands of Laurel “Larry” Yap, M.D., comes in.
Double-board certified in pediatrics and neonatal/perinatal medicine — care in the month after and five months before birth, respectively — the Philippines native has provided the tender touch sick and premature infants need at Harbor Hospital for more than two decades.
During this time, Dr. Yap has reassured many parents and preserved the health of thousands of babies. He came on board as a staff pediatrician, and is currently the hospital’s level II Neonatal Care Unit director and staff neonatologist. Dr. Yap also serves as the director of inpatient pediatrics.
“I was very fortunate the position here was open after I completed my neonatology fellowship at the University of Toronto,” Dr. Yap said. “I love my job. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Naming Excellence in Neonatal Care
The Harbor Hospital Neonatal Care Unit recognizes the superior care that Dr. Yap and his team provide, and more accurately reflects the critical care available at Harbor Hospital for premature and other special needs infants.
In the Neonatal Care Unit, Dr. Yap and his team provide care for babies born as young as 28 weeks and who weigh as little as two pounds. “We are much more than a holding nursery,” Dr. Yap explained. “We provide the medical treatment, respiratory and nutrition therapy and round-the-clock monitoring that premature and sick infants need to thrive.”
Dr. Yap said the spirit of teamwork that guides unit personnel contributes to their success with their tiny wards. “On Monday mornings when I make my rounds, I consult with our nurses, pharmacist, social worker and dietician to see what they think is best,” he said. “This helps ensure all aspects of the needs of the baby and family are met.”
Recognizing a Doctor’s Commitment
The local medical community has long understood Dr. Yap’s dedication and expertise in pediatric care and just last year, he was honored as one of “Baltimore’s Top Docs” in Baltimore Magazine.
Each year, the magazine asks more than 2,000 area physicians: “If you or a loved one needed a physician in your specialty, to whom would you refer them?” Dr. Yap was named one of the top five doctors of pediatrics/neonatal medicine.
In addition to providing excellent patient care, Dr. Yap shares his experience with medical students from both the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as they make their pediatric rotations through Harbor Hospital.
Dr. Yap’s passion for education also extends outside of Harbor Hospital. He leads regular education clinics both at his church and at schools around Baltimore on topics such as immunizations and adolescent health. “I believe everyone needs a basic understanding of medical issues,” he explained.
Staying on Top
Through his medical school teaching and his insistence on continuing medical education for both himself and his team, Dr. Yap remains at the forefront of medical advancements. A combination of his overall commitment to education and passion for children’s health make him an “over and above” kind of physician.
“Top Doc” award aside, one thing is certain—Dr. Yap will continue doing what he has always done — caring for Harbor’s smallest patients using a holistic, patient-centered approach. Because of this, and much more, he will continue to remain one of Harbor Hospital’s “top docs.”