As medical director of women’s services, David Soper, M.D., is used to crises. In obstetrics, it’s normal fare. Even in the pregnancies that are “normal,” about 15 percent will take a surprising turn.

He’s calm, cool and collected during those crises. But get him talking about how lives will be impacted by the new Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion, and he tears up. Technology has advanced so much that abnormalities can be diagnosed during ultrasounds at 10 weeks, when the baby is the size of a lima bean.

“Obviously we will provide routine care, but the majority of our care will be focused toward women who have complex, complicated pregnancies or who have the potential for a high-risk outcome or a sick child. So that gives it a very unique perspective.”

The pavilion is part of the new $385 million Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. Equipped to handle the toughest and most complicated of pregnancies and neonatal care, the pavilion will give patients access to highly specialized equipment, rare procedures and advanced sub-specialists in pediatrics and maternal fetal medicine, all in one centralized location.  Its amenities include:

  • 12 labor and delivery rooms
  • Two operating rooms for obstetrics
  • Five high-rick antepartum rooms
  • 82-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Seven NICU couplet care rooms, where mothers and babies can recover together
  • 29 postpartum beds designed for single room care, to accommodate family stays
  • A new Advanced  Fetal Care Center, which will provide a continuum of care for children expected to deliver with congenital birth defects.

Robin Mutz, administrator for women’s health and executive nursing director for the children’s hospital, says this is more than just a new, fancy building with lots of high-tech capabilities.  What makes it fundamentally different, she says, is its underlying emphasis on making mother-newborn care more seamless, and providing it in a comfortable, family-centered environment.

“This is going to be pretty different and pretty exciting. Removing barriers of separation really will transform care here.”

Read the full article in the newscenter