By Guest Blogger Juanyetta Beasley PhD, RN-CNML, Nursing Director, Neonatal ICU, Cone Health Women’s Hospital

Hospitals construct new buildings all the time, but Cone Health wanted the new Women’s Hospital to be different. Cone Health Women’s Hospital has been a special place for women and babies since the first baby was born there in 1990. Since then, Women’s Hospital has been committed to continually improving health care for women and families, which led us to the decision to build a new facility connected to the south side of The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital.

We wanted to design a hospital completely built around the patient experience. To do this, we shadowed patients and families throughout their experience in the existing Women’s Hospital.  Former patients, nurses, doctors, and other staff all helped in designing the building. This was done to make sure our new building is a terrific place to work and continues to be the place so many women in the Piedmont trust for some of the most important moments of their lives.

It’s one thing to see a floor plan on paper, but to really understand how the space would be used, Cone Health created a full-sized, cardboard model of the main floors of the new building. This “cardboard city” model allowed Cone Health providers to visualize the space and make placement recommendations based on what will support their work and help them offer the best care. Caregivers and patients were able to walk through the hospital rooms as if they were in the actual building, and suggest changes based on their experience rather than an idea. This practice was powerful and led to changes in placement of rooms, doors, windows and beds. NICU dads even influenced the placement of the TV!

A trip to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is never in a family’s delivery plan, but it can still be part of a great birthing experience. The new Cone Health Women’s Hospital will have an expanded NICU comprised of single rooms with individual bathrooms, to keep babies and their families together and comfortable. These new rooms allow the family to partner with the care team in caring for their little one, which is especially significant as studies have found that babies may go home sooner when they’ve had their family more involved in their day-to-day care.

In the past, babies that needed to be in the NICU and their moms were treated in separate areas of the hospital. At the new NICU, single rooms will allow our staff to focus on couplet care, where both the mom and baby are cared for in the same room. That way, recovering moms don’t have to go far to get in some skin-to-skin time.

Another exciting new feature of the new Women’s Hospital is the golden hour room. The golden hour room is located in the labor and delivery department, and was designed for staff to stabilize infants immediately after birth before transferring them to the NICU. No one likes to think of their newborn needing emergency care, but if immediate care is necessary, treatment won’t be far away.

Our community is fortunate, as the exceptional care team at Cone Health Women’s Hospital is dedicated to providing top-of-the-line treatment for women throughout their pregnancy, delivery and recovery.

The safety of our patients is very important to us. By moving the hospital to the Moses Cone campus, all of our moms will be steps away from emergency care specialists if they need it. Across Cone Health, at Women’s Hospital and Alamance Regional Medical Center, our priority is providing safe, high-quality patient care. We follow national protocols for managing pregnancy and childbirth complications. We are proud of the healthy outcomes we’ve achieved for so many women and families every year.

*To find out more about Cone Health Women’s Hospital, along with services and events, visit

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